Thursday, February 7, 2008

Try the Panini. It's Amazing.

Almost exactly two years ago, I was sitting at the Sam Adams pub in the old terminal of DCA. I should have been en route to Chicago-Midway for a reunion weekend with some college buddies, but—due to over-the-top flight delays—I found myself sucking down seasonal beer with GW undergrads and eating a decent ham panini from a neighboring food kiosk.

A familiar face approached our group and—likely noticing my sandwich—inquired, “Where am I supposed to get something to eat around here?”

It was the fresh-faced freshman senator from Illinois—traveling alone and hungry. He was dressed in a sensible suit and slighter in stature than I would have expected. If I remember correctly, this was right around the time that people started buzzing about his potential as a 2008 presidential candidate.

I looked at my sandwich wrapper and then back up at the senator. “Here’s what you’re going to do,” I started, “You’re going to head over to that kiosk over there and get the ham panini. It’s amazing.”

“Thanks,” he said and beamed us a smile before walking off.

Later on, I saw him sitting alone. He appeared to be eating a salad.

Prior to boarding, I approached him. “Mr. Senator, would you mind a quick picture?” He graciously obliged and then boarded the plane to take his (middle!) seat.

Later that night—on Chicago’s north side—my buddies and I somehow ended up getting a ride home from a late-night spot in the back of a Sun-Times delivery truck. We had to pitch in and toss bundles at a few stops, but it was worth it to have shelter from the bitter, windy cold. Tragically, I lost my keys at some point.


mjlambie said...

that's pretty rad. i had no idea he rode coach. now how about another one of those paninis?!

larry parnell said...

My question is why didn't he take your advice? and (selfishly) what does that have to do with media relations? Maybe your key message wasn't delivered in a way that he understood or accepted?

Tobias said...

I'm pretty sure that the kiosk had shut down its sandwich making operations by the time he got there. It's likely that he only had the pre-packaged options to choose from (hence the salad).

Meet the Author said...

Nice, that kind of stuff never happens to me! Now, would you trust someone to lead our country who didn't trust your opinion on dinner? hehehe...just kidding. Im sure the panini line was too long, since they are so good.

meljos said...

I've never seen Obama at the airport but I did some Senator from Idaho hanging out there.

Did you ever find your keys?

Tobias said...

Never found the keys...
There's a good chance they're still in the back of that delivery truck.

JOHN said...

please tell me you're wearing a vintage vantage shirt.