Saturday, January 24, 2009
Still marveling at Obama's mighty influence. Cannot fathom that nearly two million people gathered, despite the recession, despite freezing temperatures, to cheer him on without incident, without arrests. I cannot seem to cover a high school sporting event without incident, without arrests. I can only conclude it is a reflection of his humanity and class. I had the pleasure of meeting him after covering his campaign stop in Elko. Myself and my two colleagues were the only journalists who snagged this exclusive. The three of us sat down with him for seven uninterrupted minutes in a white tent the secret service organized. Having invested a lot of time in Luo territory, the heartland of his Kenyan heritage, I greeted him in Luo and completely thwarted him. To be fair. . .I'm white and freckly and we were in rural Nev. There was a pregnant pause and he sat before answering, and then responded in Swahili that I must have a Luo thing going on. I was struck by his ease with being interviewed, filmed and photographed simultaneously and his ability to set us at ease. He apologized about the four or five festering flies that kept landing on his face. And joked, "In tomorrow's news people are going to be saying I didn't know Obama had a mole on that side of his face--must be cancerous."