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Backstage with Barack in Richmond

The first thing Maxine has to say about meeting President Obama and the First Lady?

“I’m on cloud nine.”

Maxine found out on Friday afternoon that she was one of the winners of the Backstage with Barack contest and the next day, she and her daughter would get to meet the Obamas at Saturday’s rally in Richmond.

Maxine: “Once I got the phone call I thought, ‘Oh my god, it’s really going to happen!’ But I still tried to not really get excited. I was trying to act cool but I could feel it in my stomach. We weren’t exactly sure what to expect and our imaginations were running wild, so we were trying to stay calm and stay cool.

“When we walked over to the Siegel Center the line was down the street, wrapped around like a snake. That’s when it started feeling real! From there it was a whirlwind. We waited in a room in the back with a couple other folks who were there to meet the President.

“Then, Michelle came in first, and I gave a little yell! My daughter Leyana works as a substance abuse counselor with the Navy, and once it was our turn, she and Michelle started talking right away about veterans’ issues.”

Leyana: “I work with active duty servicemembers and their dependents. The First Lady asked me about my work and she told me she thinks it’s really admirable.

“The First Lady was a lot taller than I expected. And I said, ‘You know I saw you in a magazine, and I decided I want Michelle Obama arms!’ And she said ‘Girl, you’ve got them!’ Now I’m going to have to work on my arms for the rest of my life!”

Maxine: “Leyana was so busy talking to Michelle I don’t know if she ever got a chance to talk to the President!

“As for me, I had a chance to tell the President that I’m 62, so my biggest concerns are Social Security and Medicare. He said: ‘I bet they are! But I’m working hard to make sure you don’t have to worry about those things.’

“At the end I told them I had taken a picture of them at the wax museum in New York. And I said, ‘My friends aren’t going to believe that it’s not just another wax museum!’ And Michelle said, ‘Oh no, we can do better than that!’ So we did a fist-bump, and then I told the President that Michelle gave me a fist-bump. So I did a fist-bump with the President and Michelle!”

Leyana: “I’ll never forget this experience. It’s made me think a lot about how each person has a role to play.”

Maxine: “During the speech on Saturday the crowd was chanting ‘Four more years!’ But the President said it’s not going to be easy—that it won’t be easy to win Virginia again. What if he lost our state by 200 votes? We can make the difference, so we’ve got to do our part. That’s the message I’ll take going forward.”

This campaign is heating up. Join Maxine and Leyana and volunteer today.


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