On Saturday Marc and I went to see President Obama as he made a campaign stop in Windham NH. I went as a member of the press and Marc was in the crowd taking pictures.
I don’t care you are, being near to the President of the United States is an awe inspiring experience. This is one powerful person and with him comes all the protection needed these days for one in his position. Even though this is New Hampshire where just a few years ago, you could go to someone’s house to meet this “new candidate, Barack Obama”, you can’t pretend that now he is President, there aren’t a few loons out there wanting to hurt him – if you don’t believe me just read the vitriol in the comments section following any news story on him. Hate can be a scary thing.
There were black suited Secret Service men (and women) galore. There were bomb sniffing Secret Service dogs (I spent some time behind the building watching a dog handler exercise his dog – I can’t even get my dog to come when I call him and this handler was doing sits, stays, and comes, like it was (literally) all in a day’s work. There were wands and equipment checks – all the kinds of things you expect these days. Initially women were even being told not to bring purses into the venue, but eventually they allowed purses because there is not a woman alive who is not going anywhere without her purse (what if someone needs a Kleenex?) – eventually, even the Secret Service recognized this. Don’t mess with a woman and her purse.
Which is why my getting Fatti-Madi into the auditorium is nothing short of Mission Impossible amazing. I mean I didn’t do anything illegal (hear that Secret Service?) it’s just that I didn’t really declare her. I have this great cloth bag that I stuffed Fatti-Madi into and when she’s in, no one can tell that a stuffed chicken is on board. It just kind of looks like the stuff a journalist brings
Oh sure, she was sniffed and wanded but as nothing set off alarms, she was allowed in.
I waited for the event to start before I even pulled her out. Technically there is nothing wrong with bringing a stuffed chicken to a Presidential event but sometimes those Secret Service people don’t have the best senses of humor.
I positioned myself in the risers that were set aside for video (major news agencies) and once the President got talking and all eyes were on him, I pulled Fatti-Madi out and started shooting (ahem, taking pictures.) I got a few comments from some of the other journalists:
“Is that a chicken?”
“We come to New Hampshire and someone brings a chicken, why not?”
But I was on a mission. No one bothered me, thank God, because although having a stuffed chicken is not a capital offense, if someone was having a bad day, I’m sure it could be. This is a photo that Marc took from his position at the event.
And this is the photo I took from mine.
We really are all of one flock.