Friday, April 24, 2009

The closest I'll ever get to hugging Obama

It's not often that politicians hug reporters. Usually they look at us with a wary eye, maybe a nervous smile if we're lucky. They often talk without saying a thing, just turning words around and around until we're dizzy and confused. Tonight, I had a different experience as I headed to the Westin in downtown Seattle to King County Executive Ron Sims' going-away party.

Now, I've heard that Sims can be a "hugger", but I've never experienced the magic before first-hand.

"Mr, Sims? I'm Kristin Hanes with KOMO radio --- " But before I could finish, he smiled his goofy smile, braces and all, and grabbed me into a big bear hug. I awkwardly squeezed his shoulders.

"Congratulations, now..umm...can I ask you a few questions?" He continued to grin, then his eyes misted as he talked about Seattle, and his wonderful colleagues, and going to work in Washington DC.

"When the President of the United States leans forward and says 'will you work for me?' I don't know how you say no." His eyes twinkled as he turned to hug yet another group of unsuspecting people.

I can now say I've been hugged by someone in the Obama administration. So, if he rubs shoulders with the President, does that also mean that I have too? It's a little bit strange to have a politician open his arms to you, but for an instant, that boundary between interviewee and interviewer was erased. We were just two people, celebrating a new life, a new administration.

Good luck, Mr. Sims. I'm sure many in Seattle with miss you. (soon to be Deputy Director of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.)

1 comment:

Paula said...

That is SO sweet. Good for him for keeping that human warmth. His picture radiates peaceful, happy energy.