Thursday, December 22, 2011
Meeting the Presidential Couple, Especially Michelle
I always do say good women come out of Crownpoint.
One of them is my aunt Lynda Lovejoy. I’m not going to jot down her resume or tell you everything that she’s has done — just that she is a long-time New Mexico senator and ran for Navajo Nation President twice.
I just want to tell you about her recent trip up to Washington D.C. for the annual White House Holiday Reception.
“Thanks, it sounds very great, but, no thanks,” she said when she was invited by the senate majority leader.
She doesn’t like D.C. because airlines are chaotic, security is everywhere and travelers and tourists crowd every corner of the capital. I wouldn’t like that either. Plus it’s cold up there.
A few days later, she was invited again and she said ‘yes.’ The plan was for four New Mexico politicians to go to the dinner; two Hispanics, one Native American and a white guy to represent the diversity of our wonderful state.
The reception took place at the East Wing of the White House where there are numerous rooms and places to put Christmas trees and decorations. There were symphony bands and choirs and paintings of past occupants hung on the walls.
There were about 300 other guests. “Business people, educators — they were from all walks of life,” she said.
She was the only Native there, or at least as far as she could see after she met everyone. She was wearing a red velvet suit, Navajo style, and decked out in Navajo jewelry.
The food was awesome: prime rib, roast beef, seafood and “just a variety of food.” The White House is known to have the best chef and this dinner was an example.
“The desserts were so tasty,” she said.
The reception was very organized. Everyone was given a number and a time to get food and visit the first couple.
When she got close to the couple, security took everything from her; phone and purse. Since there were a few hundred people all wanting to visit the president and first lady, each guest was only given a short amount of time to shake the Obamas’ hands and tell them who they were — with a photo.
When she got there she shook the president’s hand and told him she was a senator from New Mexico.
“‘We love New Mexico, we want to go back and visit,’” he said to her.
Then she came to Michelle Obama.
“I think I spent more time shaking her hand than the president’s,” she said. “… especially mentioning New Mexico, I think the first lady was very overpowered.”
There was a connection between my aunt and the first lady. Obama wouldn’t let go, and Lovejoy wouldn’t let go. They stood there for a few moments looking at each other and shaking hands. The security guard kept telling Lovejoy, ‘Ok, you have to move on.”
She thinks it was the fact that she was a Native American woman in office — what with the dress and heavy jewelry everywhere. “I’m sure she was very overwhelmed by just seeing the diverse people.”
I’m 5’8’’, my aunt is a little taller, but Michelle is taller. So is Barack, she said.
“It was nice someone was taller than me,” she said. “I was just overwhelmed to see them in person.”