What presidents did you meet or see in person

and under what circumstances? Before, during or after they became president?

I saw JFK campaigning in the primary at a shopping center in Baltimore in 1959. I didn’t think he would become President.

I saw Harry Truman walking outside my college dromitory at Harvard after he had retired. I believe this was 1961 or '62.
He was spry and full of energy.

I saw Jimmy Carter campaigning for President on a streetcorner in New York City.

I also saw Mrs. Bush in 1989 or '90 when she visited a literacy program in Cleveland. I found her quite sincere and unphony and was happy to shake her hand.

Nixon in the White House. (shudder!)

Saw Bill golfing on Martha’s Vineyard. We the group ahead of him, so we’d slow down the pace to catch a glimpse of him. He hit a ball our way, he hit it way too hard out of the rough and it sailed over the green out of bounds to us. It was funny to see my dad and my uncle nearly hit their heads scrambling for it. My dad got it and got to shake Bill’s hand. I saw Hillary at the MV airport, she waved to me.

worked a catering gig, a demo fundraising dinner at feinsteins house. clinton was there, he came in and worked the kitchen crowd. he slung his arm around me and flashed his pearly whites for the camera.

after dessert, all we staff listened to his speech. the man has unbelievable charisma. even the most jaded old queen on our staff hung on his every word. very compelling, very powerful man.

I saw Ford in 1975 when I was 2 on the back of a train in Alton,IL
I saw Bush SR at the local mall in 1987.
I saw Clinton’s hand out of his limo in 1998 leaving Tyndall AFB on his way to a fundraiser somewhere.
I just missed Bush JR when he was at Offutt AFB on Sep 11th.
<bonus politician> I saw Jesse Jackson’s head before he spoke at my high school in 1987. I’m still trying to figure out why that was only for the black kids.

On Bill’s charisma - A fairly straight-laced woman I know who spoke with Clinton for 5 minutes told me something like: “Thank God there were 20 other people in the room, otherwise I’d have had my clothes off in minutes.”

Clinton signed the 1994 Education Bill at my high school. We had a huge schoolwide assembly and the band played “Hail to the Chief” for him. Our band teacher actually rented a tenor sax in the hopes of getting ol’ Billy to play with us, but no luck.

Just Clinton. During the 50th anniversary of the end of WWII. He was there with Hillary and Chelsey. We’re just too far away for any potential President to ever come campaign. And when they do come it’s usually to relax.

However I have been inconvenienced by Reagan, Bush I and Clinton. Travelcades can be quite annoying.

I forgot to mention that I saw Pierre Mendes France after his retirment. He had been the President or Prime Minister of France.

I met Bill Clinton when he came to Portland State University to participate in some kind of Pacific Rim Economic conference. I was a student at PSU at the time and couldn’t resist the chance of meeting him, even though I wasn’t exactly his biggest fan. Shook his hand, and found that it was unexpectedly…soft.

I met Jimmy Carter also, except I was just a very wee lad at the time and don’t remember it.

I have seen Jimmy Carter getting out of his hotel and into a limo once.

When I was stationed at the Pentagon, I saw Reagan in the center courtyard - I was at a 4th-floor wondow. Actually, what I saw was a blur, but a Presidential blur…

I saw Prime Minister Brian Mulroney at a wreath laying ceremony for rememberance day (veterans day in US?).

Gorbachev gave a talk at my university, invitation only, but he walked by me and another couple hundred students.

I met Bush I when he was campaigning in CA in 1988. He gave a speech at a park that just happened to have the nature museum that I worked in–apparently the only appropriate place for him to change and have his makeup done.

Met Clinton when I was working at State in 99, then again at a fundraiser for some damn thing that I don’t remember. Hey, it was open bar!

When I get sworn in next month, I’ll either meet Secretary Powell or Bush II.

I was almost run over by Gerald Ford when I was 10 years old, minutes before he became President.

My parents, who hated Nixon with a passion, took us children into downtown DC on the day he resigned. We sat the lawn on across the street from the White House while Nixon made his resignation speech, and watched it on a tiny TV.

On the way to the White House, I remember crossing an alley, when someone pulled me back abruptly as a limo leapt out into the street. People shouted, “It’s him! It’s Ford!” My first brush with fame (and with death too!)
Less exciting: I also saw Clinton from a distance at a White House Christmas-tree lighting ceremony a few years ago.

Clinton, on the steps of Capitol Hill, March 1995.
I have met an Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern (prime minister of Ireland) many times on account of he drinks in my local.

I have met Mary McAleese (Irish President) while she was on the campaign trail, while I was in College in Dundalk.

Clinton, from a distance, at the '92 inauguration. And I met Lady Bird Johnson in 2000 at a local Democratic party reception.

If John Edwards is elected in 2004, I’ll be able to brag about the fact that he was a regular customer at a toy store where I used to work, but I’m not holding my breath on that one.

I saw Bush I give a college graduation address at Texas A&M. I work near the Nashville airport, so I have been inconvenienced by Al Gore’s returning for visits many times. If people REALLY want to know why he lost TN in the election, the answer is we knew how bad traffic got screwed up when he came to town as VP, how bad could it have gotten if he was the Prez?

And the best encounter is… President Clinton ogled my wife’s tits as he drove by in his Limo next to the White House. We were about to cross the street going toward the Washington Monument from the White House, when a security guard stopped us and said we had to wait. No one was around, and I was starting to get a bit ticked off because no explanation was given. Then a big motorcade approached, and what do you know, there is Bill’s face pressed up against the glass smiling and waving at just us two. He even looked back out the back window as they drove past. I was thinking “wow, this guy really takes being friendly with the people seriously, and there is only the two of us anywhere around”. Then I see the reason; my wife, who is a good looking blonde and, ahem, well developed, was wearing a tight, thin sweater on a cool day. She has a rule that bras have no place on vacations, so you can probably guess the rest of the story.

Well, whaddaya know…

When I was stationed at the Pentagon, I shook the hand of Clinton, during the USAF 50th anniversary deal. He spent a few minutes talking to my (extremely pregnant) wife.

Oddly enough, I also found his handshake to be quite soft…

Bush 1, 1991. I drove a car in the motorcade when he visited Pittsburgh to speak to the FOP convention.

Clinton, 1992. Two weeks before the election. He was campaigning in Pittsburgh, speaking in Market Square. I was holding a sign highly uncomplimentary to him. After the speech, he worked the line and I shook his hand.

I have other political brushes as well. All you have to do is ask.