Photo by me. Yes, I was that close this evening. If you live in the great City of Chicago, you are probably well aware of where our fine leader kicked off his 2012 re-election campaign this evening: the building where I spend all of my days, mk The Restaurant. As a resident of the greater Midwest, you may even be aware that Sweet Water Organics’ fresh “factory-raised” aquaponic perch was on the menu, Sweet Water being my Papo’s fish farm in Milwaukee. Quite a bit of excitement in my normally mundane world.
I took a shot of the menu yesterday as we put the final touches on it. You can see my ratty handwriting here noting that the hors d’oeuvres portion was a bit large and that we needed to get the presidential part in caps. For a restaurant that hasn’t used caps more than once in the three years I’ve worked there, this was obviously a big deal! We do normally cap our wines but decided to go all lower-case in the interest of symmetry for the big day, minus the heading with President Obama’s name on it.
And here is the final, signed by the President himself.
I could go on and on and on and on about the magic of this experience; the frantic but organized preparation, our trillion and a half timelines, the counter-snipers and their daily tours of the building, how fantastic and kind and awesome the Secret Service was over the last week with us, the electricity in the air as President Obama met our entire staff, how he joked about him and Michelle going on dates without the press at mk in years gone by, the way the dining room looked as he addressed the intimate crowd… really I could totally go on and on and on and on. Instead, I think I will get myself a little bit of sleep and dream about the fact that I got to shake hands with OUR PRESIDENT twice tonight, and the fact that I have a Secret Service issued earpiece and a certificate from the White House, and the fact that I work with an amazing group of people that made this happen and the fact that my bosses are too cool for school and the fact that … OK, I am going on and on and on.
Time for bed. Goodnight.
7:46 P.M. CDT
THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody. (Applause.) Thank you so much. Everybody, have a seat. Have a seat. These are a bunch of old friends, we can relax. It is wonderful to be home. And I want to thank the whole crew at MK for doing just a great job. And I know everybody had a fabulous meal.
I was reminding folks that Michelle and I used to come here for dates. (Laughter.) But now we have all these reporters come with us on dates, so it’s become a little rare.
The beginning of the speech I heard via Obama in Chicago frames 2012 argument: ‘Do we finish the job?’ Transcript by Lynne Sweet