My Meeting With the Man Who May Be President: Mike Huckabee (Part Deux)

I arrive at the home where the reception for Mike Huckabee is being held around 5:45pm. The house was a very large, older, multi-million dollar home in a high profile location in Greensboro. Once I found a place to park I made my way to the house and passed Mike Huckabee outside giving a speech to a flock of local reporters and media outlets. Once inside the home I found the person who had been my contact and was nice enough to allow me to attend. I offered to help that evening in any way and she said she did have one thing that needed to be done; she asked if I could pass out "Huckabee for President" stickers to everyone. I guess all my years of passing our stickers for WBFJ at the Dixie Classic Fair did come in useful.

This is where I made what would be the most critical decision of the night. I could stay inside and mingle throughout the already crowed house and pass out the stickers which would require me having to start up conversations with people or I could go outside and pass them out as people were coming in which would be cold but it would require less conversation since most would just take one and assume they had to wear it to get inside. Eventually the introverted part of my brain won and I went outside to brave the freezing temperatures but at least my conversations could be kept to a minimum. Because anyways, I wouldn't be outside that long. I could take it. Right?

I made my way outside at 5:50pm and did not make it back inside until 7:30pm. The crowd was much larger then they had anticipated with the average person waiting up to 30 minutes just to get inside the home. Once inside it was so crowded it took another 30 min just to get to Mike Huckabee. By the time I had finally passed out the last of the stickers my hands were so cold and numb it took all I had to peel off the stickers to hand them out. But at least I wasn't alone. My friend Ginger foolishly decided to come out and join me so we stood and froze together.

At 7:00pm the reception organizers announced Mike was about to speak. Ginger and I thought "great, we're stuck outside and won't be able to hear him." But that's when fate backed into the doorway. The only place he could stand so that most everyone could hear was at the same door where Ginger and I were standing. So after waiting outside for over an hour at that point, it all was about to pay off because Mike would be speaking less then 10 feet from me.

I'm sure every politician has to have a large amount of charisma to make it that far, but Mike's was different. He came across as a down to earth, meet you on your level, cares about who he is speaking with, regular Joe kind of guy. His speech was to us not at us. It was like he was having a conversation with just me. His ideas, hopes, and dreams for our country came across clear and confident. You could really since the genuineness about him that so many have already been reporting. He summed it up best when he said, "I'm not running against anyone. I'm running for something." I hadn't thought about that until then but that is what has made him the early favorite. He's not busy telling us why we shouldn't vote for the next guy, instead he is all about telling us what he wants to accomplish as the 44th president. He also had a very quick wit about him which I loved. For instance one exchange went like this:

(Huckabee talking about why he would abolish the IRS)
MH: A recent poll showed that most Americans are more afraid of being audited by the IRS then being mugged on the street.
Guy in the crowd yells out: What's the difference? (roars of laughter)
MH: (Laughing) Good point but I'll tell you the difference, the mugging only last a few minutes and the audit will last for months. The muggers only get what's in your pocket and IRS gets everything you own.

He wrapped up his speech around 7:20pm and then as quickly has the people had piled in they left. Ginger and I stepped to the side to allow the herds of people exiting to free up space in the house. Once we got back inside, we found the house was a lot more roomer and we could actually walk around. Since Ginger had already been in earlier that evening, she knew her way around. I followed as we cut through some rooms and eventually made our way to the parlor where Mike was greeting well wishers. We jumped in line and before we knew it we were right there with him. The next thing I knew a lady was telling me I was next. So I stepped up, shook his hand, he introduced himself as did I, and we smiled for a picture together. The host had a professional photographer come in and photo everyone one-on-one with Mike and her plan is to email them to each person!

So my "conversation" with Mike never happened but at least I got to hear a great speech, meet him, shake his hand, and have what I hope will be a great photo with him.

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