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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R.G. said...

Putting aside my personal feelings for the man. I can imagine how exciting that must have been. To meet some one who will be remembered prominantly in American history generations from now is a rare thing. Great job with the camera too.

Steve Johnson said...

And you merely shook his hand Kano. Imagine the awe that Monica Lewinsky felt when she tasted his...

Kano said...

r.g.- It was pretty cool. As you know Oregon is usually the political outback and it was nice for us Oregonians to get all that attention for once. I work at a group home for kids and they got to meet Barack Obama at the Keizer Iris Festival. The kids and staff were getting out of the van in a parking lot when his bus pulled up right next to them. So they were standing right at the door when he got out.

Steve- Yep, unfortunatly his lack of restraint when it comes to keeping the ol zipper up cost him a lot of credibility even though he's had a lifetime of achievement and service.

I didn't care too much for him during the time when he was in office. But looking back on it now, those were relatively peaceful and prosperous years.

Heinz & Frenchie said...

The Clinton years were great years for our country. Since we are a Franco American couple, we find that the French have a much more open mind when it comes to relationships. If he had been the French president, his private life would have remained private and personal.

Steve Johnson said...

"The Clinton years were great years for our country."

I don't mean to make this a political discussion. But the first World Trade Center bombing, the attack on the USS Cole, the bombing of the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the lack of response (or weak response), is why terrorists were encouraged to move forward with 9-11. We wouldn't be fighting a war in Iraq and Afghanistan if not for the Clinton years.

Kano said...

heinz & frenchie- We seem to still have some of that puritanical outlook on things. We seem to hold our politicians to high standards as far as personal behavior goes over here and that can't be all bad. I wish we would hold some of our politicians to a higher standard as far as politics go. Too many say and do what it takes to get elected or re-elected without regard to doing what's actually best for the country.

Kano said...

Steve- All I can say about that is if not for the "Bush Years" we wouldn't be in Iraq despite what happened before. I completely believe another president would have handled Iraq differently. Too much suffering in the world already man. I'm a military veteran and with some years behind me now I've come to hate war. War does nothing but get politicians re-elected amd the pockets of the military industrial complex get lined. Everyone else pays the price. Our soldiers die, their families suffer, millions of innocent civillians get displaced and hundreds of thousands of them killed.