Today I got to shake the hand of the Commander-in-Chief aka the President of the United States! AND First Lady Michelle Obama! But back to the beginning…Last week Augustana College Democrats were given VIP tickets to his rally in East Davenport by a Davenport Field Organizer. I got an email that asked if Augustana College Democrats wanted tickets to see the President and First Lady speak. Let’s just say the answer to that question begins with a ‘y’ and ends with an ‘es.’ To say this experience was incredible would be an understatement. It is basically indescribable to show how great this was. But I will try my best.
We arrived incredibly early at 10am (doors didn’t open till 3pm) because we wanted good seats and didn’t really know what VIP meant. We ate some lunch in the venue and then waited in the line that gathered. Even though we were probably the earliest out of everyone there, we were still like 20 people back. Everyone was riled up about people cutting in line. The line wrapped all the way up the hill and then back down the hill. It was crazy the amount of people there! I read they think 3,000 came out. It’s incredible!
And then they finally let us in like 10 minutes after 3pm. They needed to secure the area before they let people in. They had metal detectors and did a very thorough search of my camera bag. We all bought some Obama merchandise from the campaign and then headed over to the VIP section! Let me tell you, the VIP section was kind of super fantastic. We got to go in the second row of the second ring of people. So it was like photographers, us in the VIP section, then the rest of the people with normal tickets. We seriously lucked out with only one row of people in front of us.
They had a bunch of speakers and then Michelle Obama and President Obama came out! There is really nothing like seeing the President of the United States in person. I actually saw President Obama speak when he was campaigning for Illinois Senator a long time ago – but seeing him again was fantastic. Michelle introduced him and she is such a good speaker. She is so passionate about her husband and they are so cute together.
There is so much enthusiasm at a campaign rally. I loved being surrounded by so many Democrats! President Obama’s speech was great and watching his speeches on TV just doesn’t show the crowds’ love for the President. Once you’ve seen him live, I feel like nothing on TV will compare.
After his speech ended, he and Michelle came around the row of VIPs and started to shake hands. Basically you just have to stick out your hand and hope they shake it. And BOTH Michelle and President Obama shook my hand (and the hands of the rest of College Democrats!) The President smiled at me! And I kind of became speechless and couldn’t form words to say anything. Although I got super sunburned and blisters, his handshake made all the wait and pain well worth it. Not too many people can say they shook the President’s hand!
Posted on August 15th, 2012 by aliciaoken09
Filed under: Alicia Oken