I'm a very happy boy tonight. I have just booked a flight to Washington DC so I can be there for the Super Tuesday primaries. I'll be going for nine days, from 31 January. Washington is my favourite city in the world - it is a city of huge variety, great sights, wonderful restaurants and bars. I must have been there at least a dozen times now. I have few regrets in my life, but not ever having worked in Washington is one of them.
It'll also be good to catch up with two of my best friends, Daniel Forrester and Mark Milosch. I met both of them through the MP I used to work for in the mid 1980s, Patrick Thompson as they worked for him in the Commons as research assistants. To this day they remain two of my closest friends. They're the sort of friends who you may not see for several years, but when you get together again it's like the intervening time hadn't happened. I'm also hoping to hook up with Tim Shipman and Toby Harnden who are the Sunday Telegraph and Daily Telegraph Washington correspondents. Tim was a good friend from his lobby days with the Mail and I met Toby when I was in Washington in 2001. What he doesn;t know about US politics is not worth knowing.
One bit of advice, has anyone ever stayed at the Mayflower Hotel? It would normally be out of my price range, but Virgin have an incredible rate there at the moment.
I know I have a lot of readers in Washington DC, so I need another bit of advice. What should I do on Super Tuesday? Naturally I'm hoping to do a bit of writing and broadcasting while I'm there, and I also hope to post a daily video interview to the blog which I will film with my brand new equipment. By the time I go, the new blog design should be ready, complete with video screen. Don't worry, you won't be getting daily films of me, it'll be 5-10 minutes interviews with interesting people.
Ronald Reagan's speechwriter Peggy Noonan has agreed to be interviewed. If you're into US politics, she's a must read columnist on the Wall Street Journal and her book about her work for Reagan. WHAT I SAW AT THE REVOLUTION is one of my all time top political books.
So as you can tell, I'm quite excited. It will be my longest trip abroad for quite a few years.