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My Second Time in the Ben Franklin Room May 19, 2011

Posted by KG in FS Life, State.
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In October 2005, the 126th A-100 held its post-swearing in reception in the Department’s Benjamin Franklin Room.  That was my first and until today only time there.  The room felt huge.  The occasion was huge.  Today was my second time there.  The room felt a little smaller.  The occasion far larger.

At around 9 this morning, I saw an odd message in my incredibly-overcrowded inbox from an unfamiliar but very credible sender.  The message warranted a corresponding question, and a quick back-and-forth ensued.  By the end, I reached a few conclusions.  One, I needed to eat a handful of almonds as soon as possible.  Two, my coffee had gone cold.  And three, that I was glad I wore a good suit, because in an hour I needed to be in line.  To see the President.

The politics are immaterial to the experience.  The wait took forever.  The luminaries were, er, luminous.  The energy wavered between frustration and excitement.  But when the time came, the Secretary praised the Foreign and Civil Service and the President delivered a speech defining our foreign policy.  Mere feet away from me.

The intervening years between my first and second times in the Ben Franklin Room have been an experience, at least for a politics nerd.  I’ve met Senators and Congressmen, a few Ambassadors, a bevy of high-ranking government officials both foreign and domestic.  Taking notes for Secretary Clinton?  Done that.  But in those six years, I had never seen the President, though I had been close a time or two.  And now, after ticking that box, I can say that few, very few, very very few things compare.

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Comments»

1. graceandpoise - May 24, 2011

Sigh. Still envious.


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