She’s leans left, he leans right and somehow they meet in the middle.
Yes, today I learned that Republicans and Democrats can live in marital bliss.
I met Rancho Cucamonga Mayor Donald Kurth and his wife Dee Matreyek outside the National Cathedral on Friday night.
They were in a bi-partisan mood, as we chatted at a toasty nearby restaurant.
But it was nice little contrast in political philosophies.
Watching them together wasn’t exactly like watching conservative political strategist Mary Matalin and her left-leaning husband and political “enemy” James Carville go at each other on T.V., but you could tell they had their political differences, which they were a little tongue-and-cheek about.
Both agreed that Obama was a good thing for the country, even though Kurth helped lead John McCain’s health care coalition in California and she was among the several people arrested in a war protest in Hollywood when the U.S. initially occupied Iraq.
“Obama manifests the hopes and dreams of the future,” Kurth said. “We all want the best for our country.”
But when I asked about what they’ll be thinking when they see President Bush depart from the Capitol, the tones were more contrasting.
“Nothing you can write down,” Matreyek said.
“Dee!” the mayor jokingly chided, just before she added that the self-reflection she has seen Bush display over the last couple of weeks was something she wished he would have shown his whole presidency.
Mayor Kurth was a little more forgiving.
“You know, it’s a tough job,” he said. “We elect human beings for that job. I mean, it’s not easy being a mayor. I’m sure it’s much tougher to be president of the United States.”
And yet, even with political differences, coming to the inauguration was a chance for the couple to see D.C. together — not on official mayoral business, they said.
That doesn’t mean the mayor won’t be chatting it up with local legislators like Reps. Gary Miller and David Dreier.
Kurth has his work cut out for him, hoping to convince legislators to bring home the bacon for his city and the Inland Empire as Obama seeks infrastructure projects that could help revive the region’s sagging economy.
But politics aside, with all the contention between Republicans and Democrats over the last eight years, it was good to know first hand that there was at least one couple that can meet on bi-partisan ground.
With that, I thanked the mayor and his wife and I was off into the cold air again, looking for a cab, a ball and an interview with Obama.
See ya next time from the freezer that is D.C. But hey, I’m not complaining…