Normally you can't swing an intern in Washington without hitting a politician, a lobbyist, a journalist, a muckety-muck or, at the very least, a deputy assistant undermuckety-muck. But everyone's gone from Official Washington. It's apocalyptically empty. The place appears to have been selectively depopulated of the swaggering suits and the overachievers, as if BlackBerrys have turned evil and vaporized their owners.
It's so true. Washington is always sparsely populated in August anyway, but this time the entire politician/reporter/lobbyist element seems to have been drawn away to the overlapping D and R political conventions. On top of that, today is a 'Federal Friday' - the day before a three-day weekend - when everyone who can takes leave.
I got stuck with covering the office today, and things are so quiet it's disturbing. I find myself checking my computers and Blackberry every now and then just to make sure the network server hasn't gone down. At times like this it would be easier to just go home than to keep up the pretense of doing non-existent official business.