Yep. Cross that off the bucket list. I shook hands with a sitting president.
President Obama came to Roanoke several weeks ago and I was lucky enough to get tickets from a student at Roanoke College that I know, who is a Field Organizer for the campaign. VIP tickets at that!
This was my second time seeing President Obama. The first was four years ago when he came to Roanoke to campaign.
I went with my friend Leslie from work because Erick was working. We went and waited in line. The VIP line was way shorter than the other line that snaked through the city. Finally we got in and got smashed into a little tiny area to the left of the podium. Smashed as in “I could hardly breathe.” I didn’t think I would make it and was afraid I would have to leave before it ever started. For those that know me, you know I hate crowds and can be a little claustrophobic. I got separated from Leslie, but later found her and made my way to her where conditions were much better. Whew!
A local bluegrass group played and then Tim Kaine, Mark Warner and a few others spoke. Finally, the president came out and it was so so cool because we were so close to the podium. I was able to get some great pictures.
He’s a great speaker and very natural. It was just an amazing experience to be in the presence of a sitting president. There were definitely patriotic feelings swirling around in me. It was also an experience to watch the Secret Service at work. They were everywhere and they meant business.
And, a highlight of his speech…another shout-out to Virginia Tech! Yea!
After it was over, President Obama came around the front of the barricade to shake hands. I was four rows back, so I thought I didn’t have a chance. But, I squeezed up as far as I could and stood on my tiptoes and just reached over everyone’s heads. And, I got to shake his hand! *squeal* Thanks for my height, Dad!
Also, this was the famous speech that Romney and crew dissected and distorted. You know, the whole “You didn’t build that” business. Well, let me assure you that I was there. I was present. THAT was completely out of context and ridiculous. See where this whole debacle was mocked on the The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
It was an exhausting experience, but definitely worth it.