Time stands still in Washington, D.C.

A Capitol Hill Police officer passes by the Ohio Clock which shows the time has just passed midnight on the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol, October 1, 2013. The clock which has kept time for two centuries on Capitol Hill would down this week. Alex Wong/Getty Images

(CBS News) I've lived a long time, but I never thought I'd live to see what I saw around here last week.

I come from the generation whose grandmothers aspired for their grandchildren to become president. So it was hard believe last week's poll showing the country has become so disgusted with its politicians that six out of ten Americans would like to see EVERY Member of Congress -- Democrats AND Republican -- defeated.

Most people don't like the way the president is handling his job, either, but Congress now gets the approval of only 11 percent of the people.

I heard several people ask, "And who do you suppose comprises the 11 percent who are PLEASED with them?"

When New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was asked what he would do if he were in the Senate, he said, "If I were in the Senate right now, I would kill myself."

I never thought I'd see a private citizen doing yard work around the Lincoln Memorial because Congress had shut down the government mowers -- which was just after it dawned on Congress that they had inadvertently cut off death benefits for soldiers killed in battle.

So I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when the 200-year-old clock outside the Senate chamber finally stopped ticking, because there was no one there to wind it -- the first time that has ever happened, I think. But I can't say for sure; the only people who know have been furloughed.

Complete CBSNews.com coverage: Government shutdown showdown 2013

  • Bob Schieffer On Twitter»

    Bob Schieffer is CBS News' chief Washington correspondent and anchor of Face the Nation.


Follow Us

Face on Twitter