See this picture to the right? I took it. I somehow got a press pass to see Obama when he came to Raleigh, North Carolina during the last presidential election. It was a highlight of my life and I was really thankful for the Nikon SLR my dad gave me for my birthday that year. I was up close and personal and didn’t even need a zoom lens to capture that shot. I have hundreds of photos from that day. I was up close with a press badge on a lanyard around my neck but I never got to ask Obama a question. Had I the chance, it is entirely likely I would have blathered and made a buffoon of myself. I’ve been a fan of Obama since before he was on the nation’s radar. I read Dreams From My Father before he made millions from book sales.
I have written a letter to a president once (Jimmy Carter). I was about 10years old. Yes, he wrote back. My 6-year-old son recently wrote a letter to Barack Obama to thank him for the book Of Thee I Sing. My son found the book under the Christmas tree and assumed the POTUS himself sent it. He wanted to write a thank you note, and who was I to stop him. And just like Jimmy Carter, President Obama wrote back. My son cherishes that letter and finds it too special to take to school for show and tell. I don’t have the heart to tell him some aid sent the reply, but nonetheless, what a cool experience for a boy of six.
I dream of shaking the President’s hand and asking him a question or two. In my dream I would be articulate and witty and wouldn’t stutter or falter. And while I’m at it, I might as well ask Mitt Romney a few questions too. Given the chance, here’s what I would ask our presidential hopefuls:
- Would you want your children to run for a high stakes, high profile public office?
- If you were just a tax-paying citizen and not running for President, what would be your three burning issues in this election year?
- What do you propose we do to bridge the ever growing divide between Democrats and Republicans/rich and poor/educated and uneducated/men and women in this country?
While it’s fun to ask questions that illustrate the humanity and “regular personess” of these gentlemen (which I would totally do if I had the chance to share a pot of coffee or bottle of wine or dog walk around the the National Mall), what I really want to know is what matters to them and how will they unite our country so that we live up to our name - the United States of America.
While I never got up close to shake Obama’s hand or simply fawn and praise and thank him, my mother did get the chance.
See the lovely Indian woman on the right with the dangly earrings? That’s my mom.
This post is part of a weekly conversation with our Moms Matter 2012 political bloggers. To see the original question and what the other writers have to say, read What Would Like Most to Ask the Presidential Candidates?
Image via Reuters