Looking Out for the President
President Obama in West Palm Beach, Florida on to July 19, 2012 Credit: Marc Serota/Getty Images
Well, no doubt, President Obama was sorry to see me leave the building. For 36 hours, I was on the lookout for POTUS (and tweeting), who was staying in MY hotel in Palm Beach.
I saw the sweep the day before and was sure Kim or Beyonce or Suri was coming for a visit.
Then the shades arrived and it became clear, the President was staying. Pat downs, metal detectors, car searches well before his arrival. But no sign.
I continued to casually loop the property looking for the reporter pool or even FLOTUS. Nothing.
Stealth survey results: No hotel employee talks. But at least 33 percent of agents love to chat. "He arrived at 9 pm." But everyone was still in the lobby waiting for him at 11 pm? ("He will never use the front door.")
I was being so uncool, but remained determined to see the President. As a former reporter, I have waited at airports and dinners for many of them. But why now? This would be an unofficial and unexpected sighting. You could feel the hype in the air. This was a big deal to many of the guests, me included.
And the next morning from Jen, an email arrived. "O is in the gym." I made it, saw him on the treadmill and thought, "What could he be thinking about. Syria? Jobs? Aurora, Colorado? Re-election. Prosek rebrand?"
As I sat back to reflect, I thought about the fact that I was on my upteenth to-do list for the day and so probably were the President's teams. And despite this, the thought of bumping into Mr. Obama was exciting and elicited a unique emotion. So while we all have our jobs to do I felt lucky that kismet, for this one time, brought me to the same place as the President and I was excited to take a few detours in an attempt to meet my fellow hotel guest.