I’ve got a 10:00 with the President…

11 Mar
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

So I work for a higher-ed, international scholar exchange program here in DC.  I’m currently working on a conference that will bring into town about 100 of our foreign scholars, who are currently working at universities all over the states.

All of the scholars seem more than excited.  For most of them it will be the first time in our capital.  One scholar, from India wrote me the other day, “For me, this is a dream come true.  A once in a lifetime opportunity to see everything that the capital of the greatest nation in the world has to offer.”  Unfortunately for him, he will be spending most of his time in a hotel conference room, but it is still always humbling to see that enthusiasm.

The other day I received another e-mail from one of our scholars.  For the sake of privacy, we will call him Mr. Syria (if you didn’t get it, he is from Syria…).  I’m not going to call him a pain, but he has needed more assistance from the beginning.  Mr. Syria’s e-mail the other day was loaded with several questions.  Questions about transportation from the airport, rooming situations, and this, “I would be very willing to convey a verbal message, on behalf of the Syrian, Arab, and Muslim people to Mr. Barack Hussein Obama, the president of the United States and/ or to the Secretary of State, Ms. Hillary Rodham Clinton, during my stay in Washington.”

After reading Mr. Syria’s message, I got a good chuckle, responded to his other questions, and forgot all about it.  He called me again today to follow up on his request.  I have to admit, I was a little surprised that he would still be pursuing a meeting with the President.  I stressed to him the fact that if I could set up meetings with Obama or Clinton, I probably wouldn’t be doing what I do now (I didn’t really put it like that…but that was what I was thinking).

Now it got me thinking…Obama promised to the be most accessible president in history.  So far, I think he has done a fairly good job;  posting information all over the White House website about upcoming bills and proposals.  I know that it would be impossible, irresponsible, and a waist of everyone’s time, if he met with all the people who wanted to speak with him, but what if he could?  What if he could hear more of the concerns ‘of the people.’

A co-worker of mine pointed out that Lincoln would set aside time every week where people could line up to meet with him in the White House.  Something like that might not be possible today, but is there some alternative that we have not explored?

I can’t help but to fantasize about a world where we actually get to share our opinions to those we fought so hard to get elected.


One Response to “I’ve got a 10:00 with the President…”

  1. Justin March 11, 2009 at 6:45 pm #

    A good, thought-provoking article. Not quite as profound as your piece on feral kittens, but well-done. So…what would Barack and I talk about? Interesting question. Since I already know that he’s an ass-man, we could skip straight to boxers or briefs, I guess.

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