Her Day in the Sun.

As most readers of this blog already know, Laurel asked the final question of President Obama at Wednesday’s town hall meeting.

And oh, the surrealism that ensued.

Two days prior to the meeting, I registered online for tickets. If we were chosen, the website stated, we would receive a call after 3 p.m.  Around 7 p.m. we got the call.

I e-mailed Laurel’s teacher and told her that if the students wanted to come up with an intelligent question, Laurel would be happy to ask it. The next day, Laurel’s teacher e-mailed us back with several possibilities.

Tuesday evening, we went to pick up our tickets. At the time, we asked the volunteer if questions were being submitted. The volunteer hemmed and hawed and then told us the questions had already been selected.

Laurel’s face fell. I was disappointed, too, and thought it would be difficult to explain why the President’s camp would pre-screen questions. I didn’t even address it; instead, I told her to prepare her question anyway, because one never knows.

As we all know now, the questions were NOT pre-screened, the questioners were NOT chosen ahead of time, and Laurel was picked to read the final question. And once again I will say that I hate it when people don’t know the answers, won’t admit it, and just make them up.

We do not yet have our own personal video of the various recordings we have; we will be preparing that soon. I did want to debunk the rumors of a setup on the internet, though, and post a few photos I took of the event. So here you are.

Before, waiting in line outside the gym and waiting before the event:

crowd crowd inside

the wait before the meeting

Now, before we go along – this morning, a former member of my family (through marriage, my blood relatives wouldn’t say this) accused me of being an “outrageous control freak” – as if that were news, or even an insult. Anyway, it’s true. I’m pushy when I need to be. When we arrived at the venue, there was a gentleman reserving no fewer than three rows of bleachers for teachers who wished to sneak in at the last minute. “No,” he told me when I asked if we could sit there, “I’m saving those seats.”

“Well,” I said, “we waited in line for hours, so I believe we will sit there.”

And we did just that. After all, I have taught Laurel over and over that while we are no more important than others, we are also no less important. We waited in line for hours; many seats were reserved. The remainder? Those were first-come, first-served, and we got there first.

Now on to the event itself. First of all, it would be difficult to adequately describe what an engaging man Barack Obama is. He is so well-spoken, and the more he spoke, the more I realized our beliefs align. I have not yet heard him say something with which I substantially disagreed.

As he spoke, Laurel eliminated a question or two that he had already addressed in his speech, narrowing it down to one. The winner: “What does your administration plan to do to be more environmentally friendly?”

More photos of the event itself:

barbershop quartet sings the Star-Spangled Banner claire

jay obama 1 obama 2

I have many, many more photos of President Obama speaking, but after all that has happened – after Laurel asked her question, after President Obama’s remarkable praise, after she shook the President’s hand and received his autograph; even after my former mother-in-law’s unabashed attempt to take credit for my daughter’s upbringing (though she’s had no contact with her for two years) while allowing her cronies to vilify the woman who really raised Laurel (that would be me)…

This is my favorite, my best photo of the entire event. And there are no amount of negative comments from the jerks on the right that would keep me from smiling at this:

Laurel asking her question

After the event, while Laurel patiently awaited her autograph, reporters from all sorts of media outlets approached us, asking to interview her. I obliged, knowing full well Laurel can handle it.

Handle it she did. Thanks go to the reporters who actually treated her very well during the onslaught. 😉

We’ll have video soon.

4 thoughts on “Her Day in the Sun.

  1. Chris

    What an amazing opportunity for you and your daughter! Don’t let the "out-law" (my affectionate term for one who was once an in-law)get under your skin. To hell with the batty woman(: Carpe diem

  2. Cynthia Schon

    No one who meets either you or Laurel could have any doubt about the quality of your parenting and the source of her innate wisdom & strength! Brava to both of you for your grace under the pressure of the spotlight as well as small-minded folks who would try to spoil this wonderful moment.

  3. Dan

    Your daughter is adorable. Putting political differences aside, it would be absolutely awesome to have an opportunity to ask ANY P.O.T.U.S. a question. Good stuff.

  4. Michelle

    Thanks. You’re right, Dan, it shouldn’t matter which end of the political spectrum we’re on. We shouldn’t really visit it on the kids.

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