Laura (former CDTC member Laura Lytton) and I will admit that there were some pangs of guilt as we ignored the pleas for help for lit drops and making calls on the last weekend before Election Day. But we also couldn't help getting really, really excited that we had the opportunity to meet President Obama in Bridgeport.
The tickets to a "meet & greet" before a rally are coveted, and limited, items. So we are very honest that the opportunity was given to us from an old friend, Greg Melville. He was not able to attend and asked Laura and I if we would mind taking his place - a decision that took less than 2 seconds to make!
We can do a stand-up routine of what you go through to get to the moment when you meet the President. Including two security checks, and verification of your name on the list of approved people at least four times - twice in 30 minutes! But then you realize that you have staff of Gov. Malloy's office, State Dem staff and then Secret Service people holding lists, so you just say "Present" and let them move on.
As we waited in the "green room", we met people from all over the state. We spoke to women from Newtown; the mayor of Bridgeport; a New York State Assemblyman; Rosa DeLaura and Denise Merrill. And right before we met the president, Senators Chris Murphy and Dick Blumenthal came in to say hello.
When they line you up, the term "push/pull" is heard, and within minutes, you understand what they mean. There's one person pushing you forward to the aide who is (again!) saying your name, but this time so the President can hear as he steps forward to shake your hand and say hello. There is very little time to talk, but after telling him we were friends of Elizabeth Esty, he grinned and said "we love Elizabth", and put his arms around us. I told Laura later that I thought for sure they didn't get a picture of us all looking forward because we were chatting and looking at each other. But as you can see, they have very good photographers!
The "pull" part comes in when the aide standing stage right, starts to wave you on to the exit. After turning to the president and shaking his hand one more time, the aide got a little louder, and the next people in line were almost at the president's side. When we turned the corner, Sen Murphy and Lt Gov. Wyman were there. As I stood and chatted with them, Laura kept going back to the edge of the curtain to watch the next photo-op. After another minute or so, another Secret Service agent asked us to exit to the VIP seating area to await the rally. Which, really, was anti-climatic.
I disagree with the New York TImes that the mid-term losses were a repudiation of the President's policies. And believe if more candidates, across the country, embraced the President and invited him to campaign with them, they would have found that he can still energize the base and help turn out the vote. He helped Gov. Malloy. He could have helped a lot more.
They're sending us hard copies of the picture. We can't wait to see how it looks. My grandson is holding his school picture as ransom until I send him one of mine!