Monday, January 31, 2011

Meeting Barack Obama

Also known as, one of the best days of my life.

On April 4 and 5, 2008 I was lucky enough to go to 2 rallies in Missoula, one for Barack Obama and one for Hillary Clinton. I met them both, and I met Bill Clinton in June. This is my story about meeting Obama.

Saturday morning, April 4: Got up at 7 and got ready. Left the dorms at 7:40 with Clark and Tia, met with Michael and Michelle. Stood in line (the line stretched a long way).

After about 50 minutes of waiting, and getting asked if my voter registration was up-to-date about 28 times, I got in with Clark, Tia, Michael and Michelle! They checked my ticket at the door and I went through security (like airport security, except I didn't have to take my shoes off.) Clark, Tia and I found our way down to the floor (I found out today I wasn't supposed to be there. Yikes.), and talked. I got a 'Change we can Believe in' sign! Barack was only 3 minutes late after his introductions, which I appreciated after waiting 45 minutes for John Edwards in the fall.
He walked in to a huge, long, standing ovation from some 8,000 people. Barack talked about how he enjoyed saying the name 'Missoula' and Montana "has some pretty country out here". He also wants to come back and take up fly fishing. He talked about the things he's talked about in speeches before-ending the war in Iraq, how he opposed it from the beginning, making college affordable, tax cuts, why he was running now (he can't afford to wait), he's sure that he and Hillary will be united by the convention in June, and lots of other things. What I remember the most that he ended his speech by talking about hope.
 Obama's speech was incredibly inspirational and made me almost sure the he was candidate for me, I decided to wait until after Clinton's rally to be totally sure.

The rally was on CNN and later on CSPAN.

After he finished speaking, I turned to my friends and told them I was going to try my luck with meeting Obama. I was on the floor, and was able to get to the front of the metal dividers by doing my sad Bambi eyes and saying "I just really want to shake his hand." A lot of people thought that was adorable, and let me through. I was this close to him:
 (Taken with my cell phone camera)

He came up to me and smiled his smile:
And I just...melted. All thoughts of what I was going to say to him flew out of my head. He shook my hand, and out of my mouth came "You're so handsome." He looked at me, laughed a little and said "Thank you very much." I then said "Have fun in Butte!" He smiled at me again and said "Oh, I will."
 No big deal, I talked to the future President of the United States and shook his hand.


His campaign team had taken my magazine so he could sign it backstage, and they brought it out about 20 minutes after he had finished shaking everyone's hand and disappeared off the gym floor. One of his team member came out with a big stack of books and magazines and started calling the names we had written on them. I showed them my ID, and got my magazine:

 (The picture is now framed and in my room at home)

I left the Adams Center floating on air and hoping my encounter with Hillary Clinton would go as well as this one did.

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