Friday, February 1, 2008

Faleomavaega on the Road Again

Boy, it sure didn't take our roving delegate long to hit the road again. President Bush gave his State of the Union address Monday evening and Congress was in session all day Tuesday until mid-evening before recessing until February 6.

According to a story in this morning's Samoa News, however, Faleomavaega arrived in New Zealand Wednesday afternoon, American Samoa time. In order to get to Auckland that quickly, he must have been heading to the airport out of Washington no later than the bang of the gavel (or maybe earlier?).

What great purpose is served by this little trip? Well, it seems, according to the story, Eni was to visit the "U.S. Consulate Office for an update on the visa pilot program, which was launched in 2006." Um, hello? Don't they have telephones for that sort of thing. You would have thought that maybe that could have been handled by staff over the phone.

Ah, maybe that was only coincidental to the main purpose of the long, arduous journey to New Zealand. The story said he also planned "to meet with other New Zealand officials including the Maori Language Commission to replicate some of their work here as one effort to preserve the Samoan language. Faleomavaega said any information obtained from this meeting will be shared with officials in the territory." No phones at the Commission office either?

Well, since Congress is not back in session until Feb. 6, maybe Eni was just passing through New Zealand early en route back to American Samoa to get ready for the Feb. 5 delegate selection caucus, at which he and Governor Togiola will see who has the most influence. Eni is backing Barack Obama and Togiola is backing Hillary Clinton.

I guess there is no reason to stay in Washington longer than absolutely necessary. Question is who laughed hardest at this latest absurdity: the administrative staffer who filled out the travel justification form, the press secretary who drafted the press release, the news editor who inserted the story into the paper or the readers. Since he can barely walk anymore (probably from those long walks through airport terminals over the years) as it is, if the voters ever really start to howl about his travel, maybe he can announce he has restless leg syndrome and check into the Betty Ford Clinic. Why not? It wouldn't produce any bigger laugh than this story does.

No comments: