Most people cleared out after the Bob Dole funeral, but I stuck around…and had a chance to meet several of the most powerful people in the world. It was a totally unexpected treat that made the day even more special.
Instead of heading out after the funeral, I headed toward the front, where some VIPs were still hanging out.
First, I met Vice President Mike Pence and General John Raymond, the first chief of space operations in the United States Space Force. I thanked Pence for his integrity on January 6th and listened in a bit has Pence and General Raymond spoke about the U.S. space program.
Next, I met Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. I told him that I had been praying for his son August, who shares the same name as my son. His son was hospitalized in October for nearly three weeks and placed on a ventilator. Buttigieg confirmed that his son is doing well and thanked me for my kind wishes. He was on his way out or else I would have talked to him about airline passenger rights!
Finally, I had the chance to meet President Bill Clinton and understand in a personal way why he was so beloved by many. The man is so charming. When he speaks to you, he makes you feel like you are the only person in the room. He extended his hand to me, warmly greeted me, and pulled me into the conversation he was having with a few of is former colleagues.
Even during the few minutes I spent there he made his rounds greeting other people, “working the room” in a way that shows he still has that political touch that helped him win two-terms in office.
President Biden and Vice President Harris, along with Vice President Cheney, Vice President Quayle, and Tom Hanks were quickly whisked away. As were Senators Amy Klobuchar and Ted Cruz.
Meeting the former president and vice president and current transportation secretary was a special treat I was not expecting. I did not want to mention this in my previous reflection on Senator Dole and distract from a focus on his service and legacy, but it really made for a memorable day.
How did you get to attend the funeral? Was it open to the public?
It was closed to the public but I was able to secure a ticket the morning of the event from an old friend:
I wouldn’t particularly be proud to have met ANY of those people. I wouldn’t call them scumbags but certainly nothing proud about meeting their ilk.
I can imagine your “ilk” in my nightmares…..
So really it was just your typical DC hobnobbing social event. Did anyone even notice there was a dead guy there?
Did you watch the service? It was a beautiful program that honored God and His servant Bob.
Can I ask how Vice President Pence acknowledged your praise regarding January 6th? I too am thankful that he took the path he did but I also understand how it must be a tricky topic for him to address. I understand if you prefer to keep the response personal. Thanks.
He’s still a politician. He smiled and said thank you…no further comment.
I don’t see how Pence had any integrity re: January 6th. By all publicly available accounts he entertained the thought of going through with it and tried to see if there was any way he could help out Trump. This was pretty straightforward, and yet he had to be basically shamed by Dan Quayle and told to knock it off. The fact he even entertained the thought doesn’t sound like integrity to me.
It’s one thing to be tempted, but it’s another to succumb to that temptation.
Lol. Man, the bar is so low.
I suppose in today’s GOP environment I’ll take that.
and now you know why Pence will never be President. He is as cowardly like all of the other RINOs in office.
The GOP bends over to the Dems all the time, but never the other way around.
And because of people like Pence, we end up with the dictator in chief known as Biden..
As opposed to the dictator wanna be who tried to take over on January 6th?
Found the Qcumber
One of the cooler posts on the travel blogs in recent memory, thanks for this
For your family, have the photos printed as this is akin to an autograph.
Many national politicians know how to make people feel good when meeting them. That is a particular skill.
I have met a few politicians and celebrities but my brother has met several presidents. I just met one unsuccessful presidential candidate once.
I don’t have pictures with the politicians except for that screenshot.
Thanks for this Matthew! While I didn’t meet President Clinton, I happened to be close to the White House in 1993 when his motorcade went by slowly. Security was not what it is now and I was barely 6 feet away from the Beast with no security between us. He waved, looked at me right in the eye and smiled. It was as if I was the only person on that street.
Mike Pence, Bill Clinton, and Pete Buttigieg walk in to a bar…
All jokes aside, what a cool opportunity. Regardless of political ideologies, I would be honored to get to meet a President or VP. I hope I get to one day.
Yeah that’s pretty cool. Nice you got the experience. I sat in the seat ahead of Barbara Bush and her SS guy on a flight from Maine years ago. I heard her talk about Nancy Reagan a lot. I’ll spare the details.
Not as a cool a story as yours but it’s mine.
Did you take the opportunity to ask Miss Pence why Mother allowed him to attend an event where women were present?
Please tell Bill I miss him.
If only *Bill* had thought of staging a coup…
A man was laid to rest. You speak of “special treats”
You clearly went to enjoy the event, not for sombre reflection or pay respects.
You won’t feel shame or get it of course. You’ll put me down as another hater, yet you should be ashamed.
Btw there is no man in the sky listening to your thoughts. There I said it. I know, I know I’m a non believing infidel. However look up this word… it’ll blow your mind…. “Science”
However back up the subject, congrats!! …you went to a funeral to take pics and post them on social media/ low end blog to make self look cool and social climb.
For someone who doesn’t believe in God it’s amazing how well you claim to read minds.
I’m sorry life is so pathetic for you. Merry Christmas and all the best Andy!
Sir, this is an Arby’s.
Andy is just another follower of scientism who thinks “science” can disprove the existence of the supernatural and guide us on how to mediate between conflicting goals such as safety and liberty. Anyone who claims to be a “follower of science” likely has zero understanding of actual science.
Looks like a fantastic trip, Matthew. What a joy to be able to honor a man at his passing but also have an opportunity to meet other interesting movers and shakers in the process. Being in DC I keep hoping to run into Pete. You did it with one fell swoop!
Pete Buttigieg reminds me of my son Hunter. That may not mean much to most people, but to me, it’s the highest compliment I can give.
Looks like someone forgot to use Joe Biden as his name this time…
I worked briefly for Bob’s campaign – glad you enjoyed the program. He was a truly remarkable patriot who was not afraid to die for his country or to cross the aisle to work with the opposition party for the good of the country. Clinton, too, worked with the GOP when needed to balance the budge t and achieve other objectives.
Sadly we do not have anyone of that character anymore in Washington.
“Bill makes me feel like I am the only person in the room”.
Thanks for the commentary and insight into extraordinary humans; whether or not you supported them politically. Years ago, I had an opportunity to meet Bill Clinton on a flight to HNL Spent 15 or so minutes with him in the galley. I agree with your assessment he is approachable and makes you feel like the only person in the room.
I hope someone was protecting the women there from clinton the scumbag and the scary demented prz who smells women and touches them… he and bill a lot alike!!
Truly a gracious piece along with the previous post about senator Dole. Bless you for always choosing to find common ground and the humanity which we all ultimately share.
You make our lives better by doing what you do.
I completely agree.
Why the hell was Tom Hanks there?
The same reason Matthew was?
You have been patrolling the comments on every single article. And I’m the troll? Come on man. How much are you being paid to do this?
Clearly not as much as you are, comrade.
I’m not the communist
But you are on their payroll…
I wish I was tbh but def not
the CCP doesn’t pay people to speak the truth. lmk where I’ve lied or not spoken the truth. I’ll wait. you are really the actual troll. please stop projecting. i didn’t do anything to you.
I didn’t do anything to you except speak the truth and call out that you’re acting like the comment police*.
let stuff go. sometimes I will comment if I have something to say but many times I will not. not worth all the negative energy.
Hella cringe. I don’t trust celebs at all. All part of the orchestra
“The most important difference between Trump and Biden’s children is not their drug use, but rather how the media treat them. Hunter’s laptop was called Russian disinformation and any discussion of it was banned from social media.”
Eh, not it wasn’t. People were still commenting about it, so it wasn’t banned.
“Of course, the laptop was not a Russian disinformation plot, but your man was able to get into office anyway with the Fourth Estate doing its job as the DNC propaganda arm.”
So much nonsense in that statement, but hey, it does give the rest of us a good laugh.
“I was replying to your reply, so I don’t see how I tried to change any subject.”
Trying to make us not think about Joe Chivas posting comments using the name Joe Biden?
“As for racism, just because you call someone a racist doesn’t mean he is one.”
In your case, the hood fits.
“If I said you were a reasonable, intelligent person, that would hardly make it true.”
Actually, it would, and would be one of the few times you have been correct.
“I provide evidence to back up what I say. All you have are insults and mood affiliation.”
Yes, your “evidence” is astounding.
You seem to be working hard to try and make people move away from Joe Chivas posting under different…very suspect.
Are you playing on the word “banned?” I guess you would equivocate on what the definition of the word “is” is.
In the BBC’s words:
On Wednesday, Twitter stopped people from posting links to the article, and would display an error message saying: “We can’t complete this request because this link has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially harmful.”
People were also stopped from sending the article in a private direct message, and they were warned that the link was “potentially unsafe” if they tried to click it or retweet a copy that had already been posted on Twitter.
But that’s perfectly fine since Twitter is a private company, right? What happens when private companies do things you don’t like?
Yes, the media are “mostly peaceful” in their reporting and completely unbiased. Why do you think that non-Democrats tend to distrust them? Because they are removed from reality (which is liberal)? Journalists overwhelmingly support Democrats. This is even “fact checked.” There was a virtual media blackout on the laptop story (which was true and Hunter’s own fault) but years of nonstop bleating about Russian collusion (based on what even the media now admit were lies).
Is that what I was trying to do? I thought I was just pointing out your mischaracterization of Trump’s children in light of Hunter’s failings.
You keep calling me a racist based on nothing. You don’t even know what race I am. This is why free-thinking people don’t care about being called racist anymore. Folx like you have completely debased the term.
I have seen zero evidence that you are in fact a reasonable, intelligent person. Please feel free to provide any you might have.
Evidence about the masking myth. Evidence about the failures of the mRNA vaccines. Evidence about media bias. It is all astounding, isn’t it? How has the world been overtaken by such madness?
Do you think you are playing some sort of Jedi mind trick to draw attention away from your baseless leftist smears? Please try harder, comrade.
lol at mostly peaceful and +1 on “I have seen zero evidence that you are in fact a reasonable, intelligent person.”
Hi, Matthew. What an exceptional opportunity for you! I attended Ronald Reagan’s funeral there–arrived early and lingered afterwards. I’ve never been in a room with so many powerful and famous people. (President Bush, Prince Charles, President Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev, Katie Couric, Joan Rivers, to name a few.) I was seated right behind the Supreme Court. (Were you sitting in front of me? )
At one point, I staked out a spot next to where Carter and Gorbachev were engaged in a conversation. Leaning against a nearby pillar, I watched as dozens of people approached the two to say hello (David and Julie Nixon Eisenhower, the older Johnson daughter, and others).
The service was lovely and I particularly loved the music and the military presence. It was an awesome experience I’ll never forget.
Merry Christmas to you, Heidi, Augustine, and Claire Marie.