Whew! I'm sorry I haven't had a chance to write more, I have been busy as a bee down here in New York City. You might have heard about it, I'm on this whole trip to get Foreign Policy experience and meet some of the presidents of other countries that I'm going to have to work with when I'm Vice President. It's kind of like when you move into a new neighborhood and have to go around and say hi to the neighbors. Nerve racking to say the least!
Of course it doesn't help that the whole thing has to happen in New York City, and then at the United Nations besides! That is pretty much the least patriotic place on the planet, I was not looking forward to it. I did feel prepared though, John arranged to have Mr. Bolton speak to me about it on the phone. Actually I'm embarrassed to say we tried to meet in person first, but I just could not stop cracking up at that mustache of his. If you've ever spent any time around walruses or even just seals you know what I mean. I felt terrible but I guess I just had a case of the giggles. Finally Mr. Bolton suggested we talk some other time, and when we chatted on the phone later that afternoon everything was fine. In fact we had a really good talk, he basically said 1. the UN is exactly as bad as you imagine and 2. don't be afraid to stand up to them! From there we kind of got off on a tangent about the Left Behind books. But all in all it was still a really good talk, and I appreciated the advice.
But I still had a case of the butterflies when we started the meetings. I was really tired too from staying up baking the night before -- I thought it would be nice to bring everyone I met with a little zip-lock baggy of cookies, but maybe I would have been better off getting some sleep instead.
Fortunately my first meeting wasn't that tough. It was with President Karzai of Afghanistan, and I think he was running a little behind too (he didn't even seem to have had time to change out of his pajamas). Anyway he really liked the cookies, and then we got to chatting about our sons. His son Mirwais was just born last year, so we talked about what it's like having a baby in the house. Then we got to talking about his nephew Jamil and my Track. We both agreed that they would get along great, so I gave him Track's email address to give to Jamil (I hope that's OK, honey!). It is such a shame that Track was deployed to Iraq instead of Afghanistan, if he had I'm sure they'd be thick as thieves in no time. I said that maybe Track can visit for a weekend sometime, and Mr. Karzai said he thought Jamil would like that.
So that meeting was really good, but next up was President Ooribay from Columbia, and we had NOTHING in common. He just gave the cookies to his assistant and said he'd have them later, which I thought was a little rude but I decided not to let it get to me. I was trying to think of anything to talk about, but all I could come up with was the old episodes of Gunsmoke that I used to listen to with my meemaw, and which I remembered were made by his country's broadcasting system. But I don't think Mr. Ooribay knows Gunsmoke, so we just kind of sat there talking about the weather and those headsets everybody seems to wear around the UN. I swear, it was the longest ten minutes of my life.
Fortunately my final meeting was with someone who is quickly becoming a great friend on the campaign, Hank Kissinger. I think he could tell that I was a little frazzled by then, so he just said "Why don't we knock off early?" and instead we went down the street and got some soft-serve from McDonald's. It was great to get out of that building, and to be reminded that there are people out there who care about me and will help me through this whole process. President Ooribay is just one person, and his country's not very important anyway (maybe they could change that if they spent a little less time being rude and a little more time fighting drug lords!).