One of the things I like most about being a journalist is that I get to meet all kinds of people: people who have nothing and people who seem to have everything; people who are famous, people who are infamous, and people who are unknown; politicians of both parties, sometimes finding that the ones I enjoy spending time with aren’t necessarily the ones I vote for.
So when I got the chance to meet Michelle Obama last weekend in Jackson, Wyo., I was surprised to be really excited about it. I brought a gift for her, I prepared a short sentence to tell her how happy I am to be a small part of what she and her husband are doing. And when I got my moment, she hugged me, looked me in the eye, thanked me for being a volunteer and listened while I mumbled about half of my sentence before we were told to look at the camera and I was ushered off and Mrs. Obama greeted the next person.
Then she gave a speech to the crowd of maybe a couple thousand supporters. I remember the speech was great, but I don’t remember what she said.
What I do remember is that at every moment I saw her, she epitomized grace and composure. She was quick-witted, amiable, and yet always on task. I imagine what it must be like to travel around like she does, meeting people by the hundreds, giving the same speech in city after city. And I admire how well she does it. I couldn’t even stammer out one sentence.