Senator Begich is one of Alaska's two United States Senators.  He has joined us today to discuss both local and national issues that he is working on, and to answer questions that our club may have for him.

We were fortunate to have Senator Begich join us for our luncheon, as his schedule is very tight.  He spent the entire hour with us, discussing issues and answering our questions.

He discussed such subjects as the complexity and frustration of working with his colleagues in Washington D.C., and how he and Senator Murkowski frequently have to work together in order to represent Alaska's interests.  As a Democratic Senator, representing Alaska, Senator Begich has to work across party lines far more than most other U.S. Senators.  It can be a frequently advantagous position, but can also be a precarious position; particularly when trying to maintain relationships within his own political party.

Senator Begich covered a wide variety of specific subjects, and specific legislation, that he has been working on.  It was not nearly as interesting, though, as hearing stories about the complicated personal relationships with other legislators and members of the White House that greatly affects how legislation is developed.  Most of what we hear about in the news barely scrapes the surface of what is actually happening in our government.  During those rare times when news reports spend a great deal of time on politics, it almost focuses on the legislative food fights and rumor mills that focus merely on gossip.

Much of Senator Begich's speech was the usual feel-good, I-am-a-U.S.-Senator-yet-still-a-regular-guy sort of lecture, but it was still a genuine pleasure to hear more about what happens behind the scenes of our national legislative bodies.