I got to meet the president.
We each had a glass of ice water with a Presidential seal embossed on in it at our spot…the anticipation was heavy in the air for the arrival of the President. Jared Weinstein, the President ‘s personal assistant (who previously worked for Andy Card and visited Moorhead with him days before the 2004 election) placed some peppermint candies at President Bush’s spot and filled his water glass, skipping the ice. We knew the moment was near. Just then, a familiar voice is heard from behind me and the President burst in the room and says to the group…”Hey, come on in hear gang” as he gestures to the Oval Office steps away. I was the first to enter and the President extended his hand and asked “How’s the North Dakotan today?”…”great to see you again”…as he pointed to a spot for me to sit, to his left. The hosts all filed in and took a seat, but I found myself elbow to elbow with the most powerful man in the World. . .
He started with an explanation of why he wanted us in the Oval Office. He said the room was the place where he made the vast majority of his decisions as President. He gave us a sense of the magnitude of those decisions and what information he learns on a daily basis there. He shared a story of one of the first decisions he was asked to make in the Oval Office. What style of rug would he want? He chuckled and explained to the questioner about to ask Laura…as he didn’t do rugs. He used that as a metaphor to explain how he manages the awesome responsibility he has. His role is to focus on the big decisions utilizing his core convictions that the United States is a force for good in the World. That we must lead and take on evil where wherever it is, so as to assure as many people as possible will enjoy the God given inalienable right to freedom. He spoke very eloquently about Good vs. Evil and even brought the story back to the rug, which was designed with only this Presidential input….to let it reflect light so as to influence his decision making. Light as in good vs. darkness as in evil. His descriptions of the enemy and their brutal, cold-blooded-killer tactics were enough to make a graying group of radio talk how hosts want to enlist and serve this country in uniform.
I wish I could quote him exactly or play a recording of the conversation. Because the George W. Bush I met with in the Oval Office today is a very different person than the man you see in our media. He is a great President. We are very blessed that he is our Commander in Chief. History will judge him well.
And then I got on the bus with my mom and dad and my sister and we went back home. We were all tired when we got home. I'll remember my summer vacation for ever.