Mr. President.

When Bill Clinton was running for what became his first term as President in 1992, he made a campaign stop on the campus of the University of New Mexico.

I skipped an afternoon class that day and found a good spot to watch the activity at the rally. I did not know that I had located myself in the. Perfect. Spot.

I don’t recall a single word he said into the microphone. I was paying attention, but there was nothing particularly memorable about his speech. I have always had the tendency to tune out politicians who don’t really say anything; my lack of recall only signals Mr. Clinton was probably pandering to his base, which really was college students that time around. I am talking about the election that kicked off Rock the Vote, after all.

Anyway, I had planned to leave immediately when it was over, but as Mr. Clinton finished up, I noticed the Secret Service folk heading toward exactly where I was standing. They began thoroughly checking out everyone along what I slowly realized was the exit route. They searched bags, backpacks, purses, patted each of us down, and – I assume – stared coldly at each of us from behind those mirrored glasses, looking for any sign of trouble. Mr. Clinton followed, another contingent of agents in tow.

When I say that man has charisma, I mean it. All he did was look me in the eyes, smile, shake my hand, say hello, and I blurted out that I would vote for him in November.

I hadn’t planned to do any such thing.

I sometimes wonder if the day would have turned out differently had I been wearing a beret. Or a blue dress.

Have a cigar.

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