8 Seconds with Michelle
For 8 seconds the Best First Lady Ever and I had a moment.
What is remarkable is how quick, how connected and how photogenic she is, even in a line of people.
Here's how it works:
The First Lady spends the entire day on camera, holding forums, meeting for photo ops, touring wherever she happens to be. She looks radiant, dresses smartly and no matter the temperature (hot) keeps her cool.
When it's time to 'meet the staff' a line is created, marshaled by the Secret Service, in a secure space. Maybe 30 or 40 people are going to spend less than 10 seconds with her, making eye contact and getting a picture taken. When you step into the 'on deck' spot, the various State Dept. handlers do a brief 'and this is the architect of the...' to which she immediately responds with grace, intellect and humor.
Here's what we said:
M: "You must be very proud of the pavilion"
J: "I am especially pleased how proud the State Dept. and every American who visits are.
Everyone should design one of these, but ONLY one!"
M: (Laughing) "So you really dropped the mike on that"
J: (Laughing) "Good one! (Wow, that was fast)"
And that is it.
While it was over before it began it has really stayed with me. So fast, so present, so smart. No wonder we all love her and miss her.
And then came the photos. I heard they were good from the State Dept. staff who distributed them. Imagine how all the shots taken with Michelle, Barack and everyone else whose image is tightly controlled are edited, selected, pored over, cropped, retouched, distributed and probably deleted.
The photos of me and Michelle are simply wonderful and I am honored to have made the First Lady, the Best First Lady Ever, to laugh.