A Conversation With President Obama: Part 1 of 4

Obama_with_watch_560This I beheld or dreamed it in a dream.

I was in Washington, D.C. in line at the White House. I was down there to visit the National Archives and a couple of women friends, both lawyers who worked with me in Norfolk County, one J… now is at the State Department, the other S…, whose name reminds me of a couple of famous American generals is from Texas. She is only one of two women I’ve made friendships with from that state. The other, P…, I spent much time with on a boat trip across the Pacific from Japan to Hawaii. Those Texas girls have something special about them.

The women were busy during the day so I ended up in the line after being passed through inspection by the Secret Service. They knew as much about me as I did myself. They knew I was in the Marines, the schools I attended and the jobs I had, and even that I had this blog. One young agent asked me during the clearance questioning, “how was it in ‘Nam’.?”

Fortunately I never set foot in that country. I did not want to explain why. So I shook my head and said: “bad, real bad.”

As the line moved along slowly a young woman approached me. She identified herself and showed her credentials. She was also in the Secret Service. The next thing I knew I was following her down a corridor and through some doors and into what I recognized from photographs I had seen as the Oval Office.

She left me standing there. Then this man came across the room toward me. It wasn’t until he got closer that I recognized that it was  President Obama..

He held out his hand and said, “come on in — have a seat — I only have a few minutes but I would like to have a word with you.”

He motioned over to a couch indicating I should sit there. I went to it and sat down. I was definitely nervous: I’d never met a president before. Here I was with President Obama alone in his office. My mouth was very dry as was my throat. I was hoping I wouldn’t pass out.

I had no idea what this was about. I expected him to sit in the couch opposite me. Instead he pulled a chair to my left and leaned forward. I had not realized what a tall man he was. His hair was tinged with gray. He was smiling that charming smile he often displays that put me slightly at ease but I was still quite scared. I could not figure out why I was lucky enough to be in the presence of the president all by myself..

Looking back it was probably frightened because I was afraid he was going to ask me about “Nam.” I was angry  at myself for being a wise guy when I answered the young Secret Service guy earlier. What was I going to do? Keep up the pretense; or level with him? I really was confused over that since each choice was, as I said about ‘Nam,’ bad, real bad.

He sat down. He looked very relaxed. He had on a suit but no tie. His light blue shirt was open a couple of buttons at the top. He said: “I’ve heard you have a blog.” Talk about being both relieved and stunned at the same time. He wasn’t going to ask about ‘Nam’ which made me relax; he actually read something I has posted which caused me amazement. I had no answer. I looked back at him and I’m sure I had a goofy expression on my face.

He sort of laughed at the expression on my face saying, “don’t be surprised — I haven’t read it — I’m usually notified if someone with a blog comes through — if I have time I like to spend a couple of minutes talking to them. They give me a perspective I normally will not receive from others.”

I nodded. He added, ”I hope you don’t mind taking a few minutes to chat.”

Rather than nod. I grabbed my tongue back from the cat and said: “It’s an honor to  — no not at all.”

He smiled, leaned back, and said, “That’s good – all I ask is you give me a candid and open opinion about me from what your own perspective or from what you  have heard from people who follow your blog.”



4 thoughts on “A Conversation With President Obama: Part 1 of 4

  1. Since Matt was a part of a political machine and worked for an office that was headed by an elected official, one who coincidentally grew up with johnny and jimmy from Milton, he is playing it close to the vest…………….

    A better diversion piece would have been….

    Calvin Coolidge, thirtieth President of the United States, 1923-1929
    Calvin Coolidge, thirtieth President of the United States, 1923-1929

    On Race Relations and Presidential Power, Part 3

    February 8, 2014 / 6 Comments

    The movie hit Boston theaters on April 10, 1915. Adapted from Thomas Dixon’s novel, The Klansman, D. W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation” met opposition immediately for its overtly racist slant of history, lionizing the Klan while vilifying the “undesired” elements in American society. It had already been shown and endorsed by President Wilson at the White House. Wilson had praised Griffith’s movie as “writing history with lightning. My only regret is that it’s true.” But it was not true. It was quickly becoming officially validated historical revisionism, neatly packaged pro-Klan propaganda. The fight was on to prevent so bigoted a film from gaining further cultural and official affirmation. William M. Trotter, editor of the Boston Guardian, zealously led much of the effort to petition Governor Walsh and the General Court to strengthen the law for its censorship. As the battle moved into the State House, something curious and unusual happened. Changing the rule for censorship from a simple majority to total unanimity, the House sent the bill to the Senate fully anticipating the upper chamber to go along and effectively kill censorship of the film in its tracks. When the bill came back to the Senate for reconsideration however, they had not considered with whom they were dealing in the person of the Senate President, Calvin Coolidge.

    CC signed photo

    As the presiding officer of the Senate, no vote is normally exercised in legislative business. A tie means that a bill dies on the floor, thwarting the attempt by the House, on this occasion, from raising a virtually insurmountable threshold in favor of showing the movie. Senator Coolidge could have let this one go by, do nothing and sit silently as the Senate approved the lower chamber’s amended bill, giving a green light to the showing of Griffith’s movie. Instead, as Trotter, Boston papers and “colored” Americans from Massachusetts to Washington noticed, Coolidge intervened. The cumulative effect of removing the movie from local theaters gave an unmistakable rebuke to the Klan and those who had, up to then, failed to stand up to their intolerant agenda, including President Wilson himself. It would not be the only time Coolidge would, by simply doing the day’s work, upstage the sitting President. It was a resounding victory for those who regarded blacks not as second-class imports but as full citizens due the rights and privileges of citizenship under the Constitution and our laws.

  2. M

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    In other news


    seeking paid extras in Kentucky

     | Posted: Mon 2:37 PM, May 16, 2016  |  Updated: Mon 2:44 PM, May 16, 2016

    A feature film staring Emilia Clarke and Jack Huston will be shooting in multiple Kentucky locations starting at the end of May and crews say they are looking for paid extras.
    The film, “Above Suspicion” is set to begin filming in Lexington starting May 24, 2016.
    It’s based on the story of FBI agent Mark Putnam, who confessed to killing a pregnant informant with whom he had been having an affair.
    Bourbon County Judge-Executive

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