President-elect Obama’s photo with a baby outside the gym at the Marine base in Kaneohe has been drawing widespread attention, according to an AP story in today’s Star-Bulletin.
But there’s a Kaaawa back story to this as well. The woman in the photo next to the baby, looking directly at the camera, is our friend and former neighbor, Tanya. Yes, the same Tanya who arrived with the emergency hot coffee ration early on the morning of the recent blackout.
Her husband, Mike, described the experience in an email to friends.
We made it to the Marine Corps Base and parked in a lot near the gym’s lot. As we walked we were directed to an area where there were twenty or so active duty, dependents and retired folk waiting to greet the president elect. Being on a military installation the atmosphere was very low key and relaxed. Tanya spent the time waiting chatting to the folks around her and I enjoyed watching the various security details working together – Secret Service, HPD and Military Security Forces each with their assigned duties.
After awhile the Secret Service brought out stanchions and yellow tape, briefed the crowd on the “don’ts” – no gifts, keep your hands out of your pockets, no writing implements in your hands, no autographs and do not ask the President Elect to take your picture with your cell phone.
When the motorcade was put into position the buzz in the crowed began to grow. He emerged from the gym and headed straight for our end of the line shaking hands with some Marines in uniform and then hoisting up one of their babies for a photo op. He then looked down to a little boy next to Tanya and said “I recognize you!” while shaking his hand (he had been at the basketball court a few days earlier). He then exchanged greetings Tanya and shook her hand before moving down the line. This brief yet powerful experience moved Tanya to tears.
Mike also reported that Tanya “was disappointed because I would not let her take Saffron, our head of feline diplomacy.” He was able to solve that particular problem with a bit of photo magic, which added Saffron into the picture.
When you think about it, Saffron might have gotten at least as much attention as the baby from the world’s cat people.
“Who is Gary Hooser?” one screen asked. Then came the hook. “Click here to watch The Gary Hooser Story.”
It’s part of Hooser’s unusual campaign strategy. Most candidates take a break after an election season and don’t spend money until later in the next election cycle. But Hooser has been trying to draw attention to himself through ads like this one which link back to a new and quite well done video biography.
It isn’t yet clear what higher office Hooser might be considering for a future run. He was a candidate for the 2nd District seat in Congress, but a challenge to Rep. Hirono seems unlikely. With his political home base on Kauai, a run in the 1st district seat, if that opens up, also seems an unlikely fit.
In any case, it’s clear that Hooser is looking ahead. Take a look at his video and see what you think.
It is very windy and wet in Kaaawa this morning. It probably looks worse out there than it did yesterday, when it was also very threatening (and that threat turned to rain before we were safely home from our walk).
In any case, we’re about ready for the “will the weather let us walk this morning” decision.