I was an unexpected part of a campaign 2008 event today.
I’m in San Antonio participating in the International Association of Business Communicators Leadership Institute (because I’m the president-elect of the Las Vegas chapter of IABC) and after getting settled at The Westin Riverwalk hotel met up with an IABC comrade from Salt Lake City (we met at the San Antonio airport, catching a shuttle to the hotel) to grab a bite to eat.
We enjoyed a tasty Mexican lunch at a table next to the river (or the body of water that’s the focus of the Riverwalk) then decided to make our way to the Alamo. It’s only five or 10 minutes away from our hotel and where we were eating.
Upon arriving at the Alamo we couldn’t help but notice the string of more than three dozen television cameras and host of TV broadcast vehicles and personnel. Next we noticed many, many signs for Mike Huckabee and a podium. I cheekily asked a police officer who was coming to speak. He asked me if I could read the signs. Yes, Mike Huckabee was due in a short 60 minutes to make a campaign stop at the Alamo.
We decided to go inside and have a look around. Before too long, while we were in the Alamo, there suddenly appeared men dressed in suits with clear plastic earpieces and cords going down inside their suit coats at each doorway and low and behold, there was Mike and Janet Huckabee and their entourage on a guided tour of the Alamo. The Huckabees had shown up sooner than expected and no one else was allowed in to the Alamo while they were inside.
We were very close in proximity (the Alamo’s pretty small). After watching the Huckabees and others inside the Alamo for a while we made our way out and into the gift shop, walking past a hundred or so people lined up on each side of the exit waiting to shake hands and take pictures with the would-be U.S. president.
I placed a call to Vickey to tell her where I was and that I had just toured the Alamo with the Huckabees and the next thing I knew Mike Huckabee was walking down the pathway towards me. He shook hands with the couple next to me then reached out to shake hands with me. I shook his hand and said hello while I was on the phone with Vickey (I didn’t intend to be rude, it just happened quickly and I was on the phone when he walked by).
Don’t worry, even though I was initially impressed with his debate performances, I didn’t tell him I haven’t contributed to his campaign.
I did tell my IABC colleague from Salt Lake, “I suppose now that I shook hands with Huckabee, I’ll have to vote for him.” Then again, since he won’t get the republican nomination, I guess I won’t have the opportunity to vote for him after all.
It is fun to be in Texas just before the March 4 primaries. And I’m looking forward to the IABC proceedings of the next two days.
Here’s a photo of my new friend, Marcus, right outside of the Alamo with the podium and media all set-up and ready to hear from Mike Huckabee.