Paulette Camp, Small business owner
When Paulette got a call letting her know she had won the Backstage with Barack contest for the first campaign rally last week in Columbus, OH, she was understandably excited.
Paulette and her husband own a small convenience store and gas station in Waynesville, North Carolina — just outside of Asheville. The first time she saw President Obama was in 2004, in a televised broadcast of his book tour, “I was mesmerized.” That day, she came home and told her husband that Barack Obama would be the President one day, and even convinced her husband to read the book.
When the morning of the event came, Paulette and her husband Kelly said they “were like a couple of jumping beans,” filled with nervous energy about the once in a lifetime moment.
After the event, Paulette sent us her journal about the experience. Here’s what she had to say:
I was ecstatic to meet the President. I had followed him since 2004, campaigned for him in 2008, and now I was going to meet him at the first big campaign rally in 2012. It was an unbelievable feeling. Everyone at the rally was fired up, and so were we. Then the President and First Lady spoke. It was electrifying.
After the speech we went backstage. The best part was sharing the experience with my husband Kelly, the love of my life. He supports the President just as much as I do. We are kindred spirits. They opened up the door and we said: “There he is! There he is!” And the President said, “How cool is this?” We didn’t know what to do—we were frozen! He walked over to me and said, “We’re a family of huggers,” and gave me a hug. He asked where we’re from, and he said he and Michelle love Asheville. He said, “Hey! The convention is in North Carolina—maybe we can stop by Asheville on the way home?” and I said “You do that! You better look us up.”
The President and First Lady were the warmest people and we felt completely at ease with them. We discussed our business, the economy, and the housing market. We told them our American dream story—that we own our own small business and have for 33 years. They are both very special, I feel it in my heart. We have to do everything we can to make sure President Obama has another 4 years to help our country. Forward! Fired up and ready to go!! I'm in!!!