In August, I took a picture of Barrack Obama, up close and personal, during my visit to Victoria, British Columbia. Well, okay, it wasn’t actually the living, breathing guy, but it was a really, really, REALLY good likeness of him standing in the Royal Wax Museum.

I carried that photo around with me for awhile, and now it resides on my office wall near my computer. It’s as close as I’ll probably get to the president, unless I get invited to the White House for dinner after receiving the Pulitzer or something…

My friend Patty, however, got to shake President Obama’s hand while he was making a pre-election sweep through the Pacific Northwest about two weeks ago. She has familial connections in the Secret Service, and was invited to be a “Purple Ticket Holder” at the Portland rally. That meant she was standing right up front when the president finished speaking and walked along the crowd, exchanging pleasantries.

Naturally, I’m delighted for Patty, and listened with rapt attention as she related the excitement of the experience of “being there.” But I do admit I’m extremely envious.

This is the first president since Kennedy who’s captured my patriotic heart. I’ve been his staunch supporter since the get-go, and cried when the numbers rolled across the television screen giving him enough electoral votes to seal the election in 2008. I relish his sense of humor, the precision timing of his delivery, and his ability to use a plethora of descriptive metaphors when making his points.

President Obama exemplifies the concept of dreaming, believing, and achieving. He is, without a doubt, a president of the people. Two friends of mine have now shaken his hand, and I’ve shaken their hands, so… Hey! That’s only once removed! I’ll celebrate it as the next best thing to being there myself!

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REMINDER: Election Day is tomorrow—November 2, 2010. Please remember to cast your ballots, then let’s all be grateful for the absence of candidate’s signs along our roadways shortly thereafter!