Saturday, October 4, 2008

Up Close & Personal – Michelle Obama Visits CU-Boulder!

A word from Tammy: I try to keep my blog pretty neutral concerning a handful of topics. Politics at the top of the list! But I must post this one! And trust me, if McCain's wife came to my town...we would have a different message, but....we'd go! :-)

Sorry this is a bit outdated...


Dustin here. I am filling in for Tammy as blogger on this one because she is way too busy with babies, school, homework, Power Soccer, and other stuff.

It all began Tuesday, when we got word (about the same time the rest of Colorado did), that Michelle Obama would be speaking at The Rally for Change at our very own University of Colorado (hereafter referred to as CU, and no, for those out of state readers, I didn’t transpose those two letters, it’s just how it is) in breathtaking Boulder, Colorado!

We of course took immediate action to prepare for this event located walking distance from our home. Tammy arranged for Bonnie to watch the kids. Wednesday morning while I took Benny to preschool, Tammy put together Power Soccer flyers to hand out to all users of motorized wheelchairs we might encounter (which turned out to be seven). As soon as Bonnie arrived we hurried out the door with a hastily prepared bag of snacks and water (forgetting Tammy’s sunhat and sunscreen).

We did RSVP Tuesday with the Obama campaign but this did not guarantee us entrance to the event – it was first come, first serve. Doors were to open at 10AM . We arrived at Farrand Field at about 9:30AM. There were several long lines with campaign volunteers at the end of each making sure no one else was added to the line. We would ask “where do we get in line?” and were pointed half way across campus. Luckily we eventually asked someone who knew there was ADA designated seating (which is really close to the stage) and we were among the first ushered into the event. Wow! They had those dogs busy sniffing for bombs and whatever for a long time! How much can you sweep the same area before deciding it’s clean?

We got sunburned waiting for the event to start, even after barrowing a baby’s sunscreen. It was a very sunny day! At one point, Tammy decided to have me tape the “reserved” sign, with a picture of Obama’s logo and the wheelchair symbol, on her head to shade her face.

Maggie Udall (Representative Mark Udall’s wife) came over, shook our hands and talked to us. Our friend Julie told Maggie to thank Mark Udall for supporting the Community Choice Act (ok, I admit I whispered that in her ear – Julie didn’t realize at the time that Maggie was Mark Udall’s wife – it was funny!). Governor Ritter’s wife was also there but she wasn’t as eager to mingle as Maggie and Michelle.

After her speech, Michelle took ample time to shake hands and speak with individuals. It did get kinda scary because as Michelle got closer to us, the crowd did also. Luckily Tammy’s chair protected us from most of the pushing and shoving. One woman did get pressed against Tammy & wheelchair (causing only minor injuries but inducing a fair amount of screaming. Only one individual in the crowd was met with a gurney after being knocked down, but alas I digress…

As I said, Michelle took plenty of time to shake hands and greet the crowd – I shook Michelle’s hand and she listened to me while shaking other people’s hands.

“Please tell Barack Thank you for supporting the Community Choice Act for people with disabilities.”

“Barack has the disability vote. He is a real advocate for people with disabilities”.

“This is my wife; We’ve got two kids too” and she asked what their ages were.

She shook hands with Tammy, and I guess Tammy scratched Michelle. Tammy says Michelle didn’t seem to notice, but Tammy is still traumatized. I told her if we see Michelle on TV with bandages on her arm, we’ll know why. I didn’t know that Michelle’s father had MS until today. I guess everyone else already knew that.

I was really impressed with Michelle and I think she’ll make a great First Lady.

The pictures/ video clips I took were great if I do say so myself. It’s amazing what footage you can get standing on a folding chair! Move over Press and Media, Dustin is here!