Mid-Term Elections, Coming To A Conversation Near You

Hello KItty for President 2012

It’s a political town in election season, right down to the cupcakes. (via Christian Lau)

Ah Washington DC, where democracy works. Regularly. Even though the citizens of the District of Columbia can’t vote for Congress. But that’s an irony better suited for another blog. Instead, what we’d like to point out to you in this post is that there is nearly always an election in play in the US. And soon there will be an election coming to a conversation near you.

2014 is an important year, because this year we’ll see mid-term elections. The people will vote on all 435 seats of Congress as well as 33 Senate seats. In addition the people will also vote on 36 governors. And last but not least, this summer will see the the kick-off to the next presidential election in 2016. That’s right. President Obama was sworn in to his second term all of a year ago. But the US presidential election cycle is now a storied, complicated, and — to many people, American or otherwise — an entirely too long process.

Apart from how the subject is bound to take over every cocktail conversation at every party and every bar for a better part of the year, elections also tend to affect DC on a street level. New staffers, people moving, rental properties up in the air, houses on sale, newly unemployed staffers looking for work. And then there’s the other side effect of new people in power – the cultural scene is suddenly changed, usually with new dining favorites.

Admittedly, the DC cultural scene has usually changed the most with a new occupant in the White House. President Clinton was a famous night owl and public foodie – local restauranteurs loved him. Then came President Bush, who was neither. And now we have President Obama and more importantly, First Lady Michele Obama, who made health a priority but also clearly enjoys a good meal and a fashion-forward wardrobe. Both have made a huge difference in DC’s dining scene and the American fashion industry.

So if you’re in DC in 2014, keep your eyes open. You’re not just going to watch democracy in action. You’re going to see how it changes a lot more than the levers of government. And if the changes suddenly free up a table at your favorite restaurant because the new crowd now goes somewhere else, more power to you!