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Today I met President Obama

May 24, 2012

One of my buddies that helps us out with was college roommates with one of Barack Obama’s White House aids.  He is in charge of security during trips.  The other night we all went out for a couple drinks, and it just so happened that there was an opening in the motorcade that had to be filled.  I was asked if I wanted to jump on board, and without hesitation I said absolutely.  A chance to meet the most powerful man in the world is not something that comes around very often.

Today was definitely one of the most interesting days of my life.  We headed out around 8am for Avis rentacar at DIA (Denver International Airport).  This is where we picked up vans that would be transporting the press and some of the white house staff.  We then drove to Buckley Airforce Base and waited for Airforce One to land.  I had never seen Airforce One in person before.  Today I was able to get within 50 feet of the beast.  That is one incredible aircraft, I’ll tell you.  To be honest with you one of the biggest highlights of my day was watching airforce one land and take off.  Once the aircraft landed and Obama and Biden along with some of their staff, and the press got off the plane, they were all immediately escorted to one of our vehicles.  I found it very odd that the Presidential car has flags on it to label its status.  There are two cars that look identical just in case somebody tries harming the President.  However, isn’t this moronic thinking? If some crazy person is trying to kill the president and has a 1 in 2 chance of making it happen…I would rather the fate of the President of the United States ride on more than a coin flip.  If you ever saw the movie “Analyze This” with Robert Deniro and Billy Crystal, there is a scene in which they are all heading to a huge mafia meeting.  Being followed by an FBI chopper, they enter a tunnel, and by the time they exit the tunnel there are around forty five of the exact same car going in every which direction possible.  I always thought that having every single car being the same would weed out the slim chance of an assassination attempt.

Driving around in the Presidential motorcade was a lot of fun.  We didn’t have to obey any traffic laws, which meant being able to speed, run through stop signs and red lights, and ride the shoulder if necessary.  This is something I could definitely get used to. There was tons of traffic that we were able to just completely avoid thanks to the high security.  (Of course later on when the president and Air Force one took off, that motorcade vanished and we were back to normal citizens with regular traffic laws)

President Obama had a fundraising/campaign speech at the Grand Hyatt Regency in downtown Denver.  Once we got there we waited outside for about forty five minutes and then were escorted to a back room of the hotel.  This is when I was able to meet President Obama and get in a photo with him and the other 8 people that volunteered in the motorcade.  He was very friendly, asking me my name, where I went to college, and thanking me for volunteering to help with the motorcade.  A very quick encounter, and I was taken aback by how he looked.  They always say that being the president ages you more than any other job, which makes sense considering you have the world problems to deal with, literally.  President Obama looked very tired, and worn out.  Those makeup crews do wonders, because he looks vibrant and healthy on television.  With the amount of stress he endures through nonstop traveling combined with the scrutiny directed his way every single second of everyday, I really can’t blame him.  There aren’t many human beings on this planet that can be put through that type of pressure four-eight years at a time without having a nervous breakdown.  Literally, the guy has to be on point every single second.  Whether its in the public eye when he is shaking thousands of hands a day, posing for hundreds if not thousands of pictures.  He can never portray negative emotions: no frowns, or depicting bad body language.  Every word that comes out of his mouth is analyzed by millions of people, and when he is behind closed doors he still has to stay even keeled for his staff, and those close to him (family and friends).  After all, if the president doesn’t seem cool and collected, how the hell is everybody else supposed to live their day to day lives without looking over their shoulder.

My last words to him were good luck in the upcoming election.  He is really going to need it, along with a nice month long nap/vacation.  I definitely would never want that gig, thats for damn sure.

I will never forget May 23, 2012…thats for certain.

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