Senator speaks sans sound system

I watched U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer speak this afternoon in Emeryville to more than 100 employees of Amyris Biotechnologies Inc., which uses genetically-engineered microbes to produce biofuels, medicine and chemicals.

A few minutes into her remarks, a low, buzzing hum started to carry through the amplifier. She fiddled with her microphone; the sound went away for a moment but quickly returned.

“It happens all the time,” she quipped good-naturedly. “It happens at NASA, where they put people on the moon.”

Look out, NASA — she’s on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee that marks up your budget, and she’s not impressed with your technology. At least, your sound-system technology.

Anyway, Boxer tried using the microphone for a few more moments before batting it away and belting out the rest of her remarks unamplified – a good reminder that any U.S. Senator, no matter how (ahem) diminutive, is bound to make himself or herself heard come what may.

UPDATE @ 5:03 P.M. TUESDAY — Microphone malfunctions aside, I really did cover news at Boxer’s event; here’s the story.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Kathy

    Did I miss the most recent moon landing or something?

    Also, are you still making fun of short people?

  • Josh Richman

    Nonsense, Kathy – some of my favorite people are less-than-tall, as you well know.