But public perception surely played a role, as well. “You’re in the middle of the worst recession in 30 years,” said Republican public image consultant Brian Kirwin. “If you’re going on vacation, you’re going to look pretty bad.”Amazingly, Democrat strategist Steve McMahon agreed with Brian:
Beyond the economy, Kirwin said, the seriousness of the legislative calendar requires some deference.
“We’re in the middle of health care; if you’re not holding town meetings and not talking to [your constituents] and using August to get out of town, that’s going to hurt you,” Kirwin continued. “This is definitely an August to be in town talking to your voters and not jet setting.”
“Holding town hall meetings in August might not seem like much of a vacation, but it’s a really smart thing do,” he said.Virginia U.S. Senator Jim Webb ignored his constituents during his recess even though Virginians made endless requests to have a hearing with him. Sen. Mark Warner finally held one townhall after much pressure but it was held in Fredericksburg and not even in central Virginia to reach the maximum amount of citizens.
Let's hope voters remember this when elections roll around....