Yes, it happened!
I am still in disbelief.
He’s Cory Booker. And there I am with him.
So, I flew up to San Francisco on Friday for the first political fundraiser to which I’d ever been. (I’m growing up!)
I met up with my amazing friend Jaime. We got dolled up, and headed to the Cory Booker shindig.
I was a dork from moment one. I even took a picture of the sign that said Cory Booker reception.
The check in process was seamless. We were ushered in by a person, who led us to another person, who led us to the elevator.
As the elevator doors closed, I caught a glimpse through the glass walls into the super swanky (and expensive) VIP reception. I saw Cory Booker himself in the flesh. I couldn’t believe it.
Once Jaime and I got upstairs, we checked in and got our name tags. Then we went inside the main room. Of course there was a nice spread of food. I couldn’t eat anything until after I met Cory. I didn’t want to accidentally have anything in my teeth (or have deviled-egg breath).
We also noticed that they’d put out a 44th birthday cake for him, and there were birthday hats galore. I wasn’t really sure if we were supposed to take one, but Jaime made the great point that no one else was wearing them. And in a room full of a bunch of other people, we’d surely find out when it was time to put them on.
We got some drinks, then decided we might as well kind of crowd the door a bit. When he came in, I wanted to make sure I saw it. I knew it would probably be hard to meet him. And after donating the money to his campaign in order to get a ticket, and flying all the way to San Francisco, I was not leaving that room without meeting my role model!
So, we hung out kind of by his birthday cake (which was the first table in the door). More and more people started hanging out in our area, and it became a little game of polite crowding/trying to stay at the front of the pack.
Someone came around and passed out the birthday hats. Before you knew it, in walks the man of the hour! I taped his entrance. Then, a lawyer named Chris gave a speech. He thanked a bunch of people, talked about how much money they raised – $100,000 (double the fundraising goal!), and gave a nice intro to Cory Booker himself.
Then, Mayor (future Senator) Booker went up and gave an incredible speech. (Yes, of course I taped that as well.)
The speech was unbelievably inspiring! When I listen to Cory Booker, it makes me feel like I can do anything. I’d never actually heard a political speech in person before. And this was an excellent way to start.
After the speech, everyone swarmed around him. We all were dying to meet him. He greeted everyone warmly, and we all got our pictures.
I am so thankful to my friend Jaime who captured all the special moments between me and Cory! (Album here.)
One of the many things that’s so excellent about Cory Booker is this: Jaime is a new Cory Booker supporter. She pretty much came to the thing because I asked her to, not ’cause she really followed Mayor Booker. (Though, she walked out of there a supporter, of course. Who wouldn’t after that speech?)
But, because she was not quite as occupied with meeting Cory as the rest of us were, she was happy to take everyone’s pictures. Cory noticed that, and after Jaime was taking pictures with yet another person’s phone, Cory called her by name (since she was wearing a name tag), and said, “Jaime get in here! You’re taking everyone else’s pictures. It’s your turn.”
I documented that with my phone. Plus, the professional photographer who was them grabbed some pictures of them together. Then Cory Booker looked down at the phone in Jaime’s hand and started working with her on putting the lens back on them so they could have a super cute picture that they took.
It was adorable, and just another example of what a great man he is.
You have basically heard the whole story of our night, but I’ll go ahead and wrap it out tomorrow.