Smith’s office is opulent, in an almost caricatured rich guy sort of way. Bronze statues, fireplace, high ceilings, huge mirrors, cloying cut flowers in vases, patterned wall paper that reminds you of a funeral home. A word of advice: Don’t eat the Senator’s taffy that’s sitting out. It tastes like it has been sitting out on that table for several terms. I managed to take all of this in while waiting nearly an hour to talk to Smith’s assistant, Cort Bush, who blew us off after learning we were there to talk about global warming.
On the other hand, Wyden’s office looks more like a high school science teacher’s. Satellite maps of Oregon, posters for Oregon Beach clean up, young faced U of O kids [none of which seemed to claim lineage to the Bush dynasty] working the desk, answering phone calls from Eugene and Portland nut jobs with crazy requests. It’s open and comfortable.
Also, Wyden’s staffers spent more time with us than any other representative, talked our ears off. In fact, my buddy Rob Kirschner almost missed his flight. They listened to everything we had to say and addressed unpopular issues like the pending LNG terminals in Oregon (more on that later). I have to say I was impressed with Wyden’s staff.