Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Does Bill Clinton Ride a Motorcycle?
It turns out that Oregon was pretty important as far as primaries go in this year's presidential election. Obama was way ahead in the polls here but The Clinton's put a lot of effort into trying to make it close. It was not to be though. If Barack and Hillary were motorcycles and they were racing, she would have been a 250cc dirtbike and he would have been a neck snapping sportbike.
So when I heard that Bill Clinton was going to be in Salem at the community college just down the street, I couldn't pass up the chance to check it out. This was going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity to hang out with my Bro Bill Clinton!
I eyed my motorcycle sitting there in the carport, I was tempted to ride. This time it would have to stay home though, too hard to justify to my wife not taking the short walk. She wouldn't understand the urge.
We walked over to the college only to find a long line of people waiting to get into the gymnasium. Finally the line starting moving slowly and then the doors closed leaving several hundred of us shut out. They ran out of space for everyone to get inside the building.
Within minutes a loudspeaker had been rigged outside and Mr. Clinton began his pitch for Hillary.
Man can that guy talk! He must have spoke for an hour or so. Pretty impressive since no one expected her to win in Oregon and for him to spend as much time as he did speaking. I kind of thought he would make just a token appearance, say a few things and hit the road headed for the next stop.
Then I heard him announce that he would come outside to meet the rest of us.
Since his speech was somewhat "long winded" my wife ran out of time and had to leave to pick up the kids from school. She thrust a digital camera into my reluctant hands and disappeared into the crowd behind me. I barely knew how to use the thing.
I'm glad I had the camera though because out comes Bill with his entourage of aides and Secret Service Agents. I happened to be standing at exactly the right place. Hundreds of people thronged behind me, a mass of onlookers all around, some even climbed trees trying to see.
I looked at him and he looked at me and he said "how are you doing?" as he reached out and shook my hand.
Then he moved on to the next guy, my camera was put into action. I was excited and glad that I would have something to show people, some close-up shots of Bill Clinton. I snapped away like a frenzied paparazzi, then stepped back to let others in close.
I personally met Bill Clinton, arguably a man with more power and influence than anyone else on the planet during those 8 years he was President of the United States.
And you know, before I met him, I was in awe of his celebrity. He was someone I knew a lot about, I've seen his pictures in magazines, newspapers and on TV, but in a way he seemed unreal to me.
Meeting Bill Clinton in person though affected me somehow. Looking him in the eye and shaking his hand changed him from seeming like a super human who is above the rest of us to a real human being just like the rest of us. I realized that in more ways than not, we are the same.
I wonder if he ever gets a chance to ride a motorcycle, maybe, well maybe not.
I do know one thing though. Bill and I, we've just traveled on different roads in life that's all. Both those roads began in the same place and will end in the same place. We really are just two kindred spirits. Equal as we have always been in the mind of God.
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