So my main man B (that’s Barack to the rest of you) addressed Congress for the first time as President tonight. I’d say he rocked it.
As is tradition, he greeted Congress members who enthusiastically lined the aisles as he walked towards the podium. Turns out, getting a good spot on the aisle is very competitive business. Some Congress members get there as early at 8am to stake out their spots. (Don’t they have, like, work to do?)
Anyway, down the aisle B went, shaking hands and kissing cheeks and sharing meaningful shoulder rubs. And then near the end of this line of eager beavers awaited two black Congressman for their handshake. (One was Jesse Jackson, Jr.; the other I don’t know.) But they didn’t get the customary handshake or shoulder rub. With each man individually, B leaned forward, clasped their hands, bumped against their chests and then patted their backs. You know this move. You’ve seen it a million times between men. But between politicians? Never.
This quick moment lovingly reminded of B at Ben’s Chilli Bowl in D.C. a few weeks back. At the time, I was struck by his vernacular. To the cashier, referring to his change and then his order: “Naw, you just keep that. Where’s my tea? You got my tea? Naw, we straight.” And a second later to his friend’s order: “Naw, naw, that’s you, man.”
B’s moments of “withitness” are so subtle and fleeting that it’s easy to miss. That makes it all the more exciting to get a glimpse. And it’s a nice reminder that the President of the United States isn’t so different from my friends and me. We’re intelligent, educated people who speak and act the same way with each other.
Also, I was really touched when, during his opening remarks, B pointed out Meesh (aka Michelle) in the crowd and she mouthed back “I love you” and blew him a kiss. I literally jumped off my couch and started screaming and clapping like a schoolgirl seeing the Beatles on “The Ed Sullivan Show” for the first time.
I don’t know when the honeymoon stage of this new administration is going to wear off. Let’s hope it’s no time soon.