I received a Facebook invitation to a fundraising event for Congressional Candidate John Callahan. It was at a new restaurant in Allentown and I thought I would kill two birds with one stone, check out the place and give a contribution to Mayor Callahan. I did not read the details. It was an event for the Young Dems and Young Professionals of the Lehigh Valley. I am neither.
I arrived fairly early and there were few people to talk to. The hosts greeted me and made some small talk and moved on. I walked around to look at the impressive remodeling and came back into the bar area to order a cocktail. I was thinking of leaving (they had my check) no one would really miss me.
Then the Mayor arrived saw me and came right over to greet me and for the next twenty minutes he and I talked about the polls, policies, campaign strategy, blogs, and his wife & children. He told me that he enjoyed my writing and that he has me on his clip service. Callahan is prepared for this race, he has a firm understanding of what it is going to take to win and he knows what it is going to take to be a success in Washington.
I knew very few people there so I had the time to watch John Callahan work the room. He is the master of this. Each person he spoke to knew that they were the focus of his attention and the only person he was interested in for that moment. I have mentioned this about him in the past and he confirmed it again. His ability to work a room is something historians will be writing about for years to come. I have been around candidates for office since I was a teenager and I have never been in the presence of someone who so natural, so genuine and so talented.
This was a very casual evening and his remarks fit right in. He was funny, touching and wonky. He discussed the political, the personal and the issues that matter to him. He told some funny stories about his day with the Vice President and how it is being Mr. Mom while his wife is away at a conference. Throughout he was genuine, clever and engaging.
I was resigned to the fact that Charlie Dent was going to be our Congressman for as long as he wanted to be, he is an excellent office holder and has a very good reputation (though it is fading lately). But the more I watch John Callahan I am beginning to dare to think that Charlie Dent may have his ambitions put on hold come November. I am not going to guarantee that Callahan will win this race but when John Callahan sets his mind to accomplish something he usually accomplishes it. Something tells me that John Callahan could go very far indeed.