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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Obamagasm! A Longwinded Reminiscence About the Time I Touched Barack's Hand

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 5:16 PM

I'd say the clusterfuck level here at the Convention Center is hovering around a totally manageable four out of ten. The line to get in wraps around the entire center, but the megaphone battling of Tea Party protesters on one side of MLK Ave and the liberal protesters on the other side is providing a great show during the wait.

This whole ordeal is taking me back, back to the winter of 2007, to the night I actually TOUCHED OBAMA'S HAND. It was December and frigid, in Iowa, and icy. This was right before the Iowa caucuses and the warring campaigns for Hillary, Obama and Edwards (remember him?) had reached a fever pitch, criss-crossing the state every few days and stopping to sppechify for literally any gathering of voters more than a dozen strong.

Obama was speaking on my college campus and because I am who I am, I arrived late and couldn't get inside the door. My friends and I cut around to the back of the building, treading carefully across the ice and hoping to sneak in the service door. Of course, it was blocked by secret service men in suits and we stood there for a few moments in the cold, not sure what to do. The secret service men started pushing us back with their arms and before I could think, "How rude!" a black car pulled up and out stepped Barack Obama, wearing a long black, wool coat and looking just like he did on TV, only skinnier.

"Hello!" we cheered and instead of heading straight in the backdoor, Obama walked over to us and shook every hand in the small crowd. His hand was silken and sinewy, like the hand of a violinist. After shaking all of our hands one by one, Barack asked, in a convivial, totally normal, man-of-the-people kind of way, "So, how are you guys?"

And then occurred the most awkward silence in the history of the world. Here we were, bright-eyed young college students who had somehow walked into a three second private audience with the (surely) next president of the United States. Now is our chance!

"Uh...." said one guy. "Good?"

And Obama replied, "Good!"

And then he was gone.

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