Since Sen. Chris Coons was elected to the Senate in 2010, the political culture in Washington, D.C. has become something of a bad reality television show.
On any given day you’ll find Senators Ted Cruz or Rand Paul basking in the spotlight. You’re more likely to hear Coons on WDEL than CNN, but he hardly has time for either.
Each day Coons leaves his home making a 7 a.m. commuter train to Washington with minutes to spare. Every day is different, though always full.
On Feb. 25, I tried to keep up with the First State’s junior Senator, shadowing him from the time he left his Wilmington home at 6:45a.m. until he returned home just after 8:30p.m.
His day included speaking at an energy conference, participating in five votes on the Senate Floor, attending a daily caucus meeting with fellow Senate Democrats, interviewing a job candidate for a position on his staff, and sharing lunch with Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.. Coons also met in the evening with U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus but squeezed in a quick interview with WDEL radio as he waited for Baucus, a former U.S. Senator from Montana, to arrive.
What was a rarity in his busy day though, was an invitation to the White House for the President’s remarks on manufacturing, where Coons sat front row as President Barack Obama announced initiatives to expand manufacturing throughout the nation, starting in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.
As darkness fell on the nation’s capital, Coons hopped on the Acela Express back home, where he reviewed notes for the following day in between conversations with passengers. Though he always has a full binder of work to review, Coons never once turned away a passenger who had something to say to him.
One passenger asked him why he makes the commute everyday instead of living in D.C.. Coons brought up his children, saying at their age, they need their father around.
Upon arrival back in Wilmington, Coons walked through the station, thanking Amtrak police officers on his way out the door. After a ride home, he walked back to his front door in the dark, to do it all again the next day.