A couple of days ago, a young man came into the store and up to my register. He wanted a pack of cigarettes, but was a little short (I let him slide). We got to talking, and he explained that he had all but quit smoking, and rarely bought cigarettes anymore. He further explained that his girlfriend only let him do so when there was enough accumulated pocket change lying around the house.
Then he asked, "Have you got a copy of the (Tucson) Weekly?"
I indicated where they were. He went and grabbed one, brought it back, and started scanning the pages.
"Ah, there I am.", he said. He had the page open to the Weekly's 2012 Election Guide, which gave some background on the various candidate running for office. Then he turned to me, stuck out his hand, and said, "Hi, I'm Brandon Patrick. I'm running for State Representative."
I glanced down at the paper, and was privately relieved to see he was a Democrat. He went back to reading, then said,
"Ouch, wish they hadn't included that little gem."
I asked him to explain. He pointed to the paper and said, "Last year, I worked as an aide to Paul Cunningham."
I couldn't help but laugh. Paul Cunningham is a city councilman who got into hot water on a recent trip to San Diego by drinking too much, and making some inappropriate comments to some female colleagues. It's the sort of boorishness that the male of the species engages in at least once during his life. They usually get past this type of silliness while they're fairly young - a process that is usually helped along by a poke in the snout, and a stern talking-to by an older friend or relative.
We spoke a little more, then he took his leave.
When I got home that night, I did a little online research, and was appropriately impressed. But I think what impressed me more was that, when talking to him, he was honest without that slight hesitation that most politicians have when considering how that honesty might affect them politically. There was also none of that using-a-lot-of-words-to-say-nothing thing that seems to be a prerequisite for politicians.
So, if I were allowed to do so, I'd vote for him. He's well-spoken, honest, has a firm grasp of the issues, and some good ideas.
And, if nothing else, there something endearing about a politician that occasionally has to scrounge for change like the rest of us.