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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

139

The Best Time I Met Bill Clinton

On February 21, 2003, I was lucky to be a friend's date to an event held by the Grammy organization, honoring Bono as Person of the Year. A bunch of bands both cool and uncool played U2 songs (including U2) in the relatively intimate venue that was the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square, but my main takeaway was meeting President William Jefferson Clinton and holding hands with him while Jon Cryer tried and failed to take our picture.

At first, I had no interest in meeting President Clinton, because there was a long line, and the food they were serving at our probably thousands-per-plate table was an unimaginable feast compared to the peanut butter sandwiches I was living on as a temp. Also I probably considered myself too cool to wait in line to meet a celebrity. (Okay, I definitely did.)

But after my friend's sister and her friend returned to our table, their faces red, giggling and smiling and gushing "Oh my god that was amazing!" and otherwise appearing to be on ecstasy, I decided I should probably make an exception to my no-waiting-in-lines policy.

But I did roll my eyes inwardly at their excitement — I mean, it's Bill Clinton. He's famous for making women swoon. It was a total cliché. I wasn't going to be impressed. I was going to meet the former president of the United States of America, but I was going to do it my way: ironically. You know, just to have a fun story to tell my friends back in Brooklyn later that night.

I joined the line of about 20 people, most of them famous. Waiting patiently right in front of me was Ashley Judd, who was breathtaking in a lavender gown. Having nothing else to look at, I studied her skin, which was perfect except for a minor case of bacne, which only endeared her more to me. Ashley Judd had an extremely minor case of bacne! I'm sure most actresses and models do because of the body makeup they have to wear or whatever, but it was thrilling to have such an intimate "Just Like Us!" moment. 

After about 20 minutes, it was almost my turn. Ashley and her racecar-driver husband posed for pictures with Bill, seeming every bit as excited as I was to meet him. It was cute. Just like us! I looked at the guy behind me, who was practically jumping up and down with excitement. I noticed he was Jon Cryer, who was, in those pre-Two and a Half Men days, mainly remembered by all for his role as Ducky in Pretty in Pink. In my excitement, I temporarily forgot his name.

"Hey, are you ... um ... Ducky?"

Jon Cryer scowled appropriately. "No, I'm not Ducky."

(Obviously, I was the villain in that scenario. Sorry Ducky I mean Jon! You're so rich and famous now, don't be mad! Also, you let them call you Ducky on that one episode of Mr. Show and you seemed fine with it.)

Finally, it was my turn. I stepped up to Bill Clinton, who smiled welcomingly. "It's so nice to meet you," I must have said, and I must have asked for a picture, probably by mutely gesturing with the disposable film camera I had pulled out of my purse.

(A note about 2003: phones did not have cameras, and temps did not have digital cameras.)

President Clinton asked the next person in line if they could take our picture, and it was still Jon Cryer, and though he probably still (rightfully!) hated me, he acquiesced.

As we were about to pose for the photo, President Clinton reached down and took my left hand and intertwined our fingers for a full-on holding-of-hands!

In the hand-holding base system I worked out on paper later that night, in which hand-grazing is first base, and the kind of hand-holding you reluctantly do with a relative on Thanksgiving while saying grace is second, and holding an anxious friend's hand while a plane takes off is third, the fully-intertwined hand-hold President William Jefferson Clinton did with me was a FUCKING HOME RUN. We were basically having simultaneously orgasmic sex with our hands, right there in front of hundreds of famous people.

I froze as Ducky set up his shot. A cocktail of neurotransmitters flooded my brain as my life as I knew it changed in an instant. Obviously, Bill Clinton had fallen in love with me at first sight. That much was clear — there were no other women — no other people in that room anymore. As unlikely as it seemed, in this place full of the most beautiful people in the world, Bill had chosen a shabbily underdressed temp with an awkwardly-growing-out pixie cut as the love of his life. (Maybe it was because I was so, like, real? I didn't know why. I just knew it was true.)

I chuckled to myself in my head at the true irony of this meeting — oh, how I had scoffed at the giggling girls at the table for thinking they had a connection with this man so famous for his charisma, for making everyone he met feel like the only person in the world, when it was actually happening for real with me.

Then Ducky took the shot. And the flash didn't go off.

"The flash didn't go off, can you try again?" said my darling, his larger hand still squeezing my smaller, feminine one. Ducky tried to take another, but scowled again when the button wouldn't push. (Again, Jon Cryer is not the enemy here. He was nice to even try! And every time a re-run of Two and a Half Men is on, he gets more money than I had in my savings account at the time. He's fine.)

But my new love had a plan. "Do the thing with the thing" Bill said, using the hand that wasn't wrapped lovingly and completely around mine to gesture to Ducky to move the film forward with that little dial thing that was on the top right of disposable cameras in 2003.

Ducky did the thing with the thing, but the flash didn't go off again. I knew I'd used up my time and would have to step back to my table without a photo, but I didn't care! There would be time for all the photos in the world later. Bill would make sure of that. "It's okay" I must have said, "It was great to meet you." And then I reluctantly allowed my hand to drop from Bill's, took my camera back from an eager-to-get-rid-of-it Ducky, and raced through obstacles in the form of the bodies of Melissa Etheridge and Sheryl Crow and Gina Gershon and John Mayer back to my table to tell everyone, red-faced and giggly, "Oh my god. That was amazing!"

"Was it really that great?" asked the gorgeous woman seated next to me. "Yeah, it's worth it," I replied dreamily. "You should go." So Ali Larter wiped her mouth with a damask napkin and jumped up to go join the line.

I fell back to Earth within a few minutes (the drug that is Bill Clinton's Charisma is more like a whippet than an ecstasy trip), and at the end of the night, back in Brooklyn, regaled my friends with the story of me thinking Bill Clinton was in love with me, and demonstrating on each of them individually the exact way Bill held my hand, which actually ended up being really awkward each time.

"Everything they say about him is true!" I said, astonished and still in awe as we divvied up the contents of the best party gift bag I've ever received (Seriously: it had a hair dryer. And La Mer creme.) "I can't believe it even worked on me."

"Also, Ducky is an asshole! Who knew?"

Lindsay Robertson is a writer whose other stuff you can read here or here. She knows now that Bill Clinton does that hand-holding thing with everyone.



139 Comments / Post A Comment

steve

He was merely attempting to exchange long protein strings.

laurel

@steve If you can think of a simpler way, I'd like to hear it.

melis

"Maybe I'll pick a third-party candidate!"

"VERY WELL, FOOLISH HUMAN - THROW YOUR VOTE AWAY"

cosmia

@steve Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others!

laurel

@cosmia /Shouts, "Yaaay," waves miniature American flag.

Logos

@steve And always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!

steve

@Logos
As a young boy, I dreamed of being a baseball.

sovereignann@twitter

@laurel
"It does not matter which way you vote. Either way your planet is doomed. Doomed. Doomed."
"Well, a refreshing bit of candor from Senator Bob Dole."

Inconceivable!

I met him once too and this basically happened to my friend and me as well. Then we went out for burgers and gushed about it for an embarrassingly long time. He has that reputation for a reason, I guess.

Sam I am

@Inconceivable! He is SO unbelievably charismatic. At a HRC rally/presser when she was running for President, I was sitting only a couple of rows behind HRC and when he came on stage, he was all I could look at. I dont know what it is!

ipomoea

@Inconceivable! He came to rally for Patty Murray in 2010 and it was worth standing in line for an hour and then in an airplane museum for another hour to see him. Sure, I have issues with his politics but DAMN that's some charisma.

Roaring Girl

Come on, everyone knew Ducky was an asshole.

Unaccompanied Lady

I met BC in February, 1991, when he just starting out his presidential campaign, and I was a lowly communications ass't at the DLC, an org of which he had until just prior been head.

After speaking at the group's annual conference, Clinton went backstage where the staff had lined up to shake his hand. With every.single.person, including peons like me, he looked down at your credentials/breasts then at you straight in the eye and said, "thank you so much, Unaccompanied Lady" like you were the only person in the room. SWOON. It's magic. FACT.

idkmybffjill

@Unaccompanied Lady I am dying, my story is so similar. I met him at a book signing when I was in college. You know when everyone was wearing ironic shirts that said "Frank" or "Jeff" on them? My roommate found a bowling league shirt at a thrift store that had my actual name on it. I am not sure why I was wearing that disgusting thing on the day I chose to meet a former President, but the whole day had been a spur of the moment decision.

So I go up to shake his hand, he looks at my chest, looks at my face, and says "It's so nice to meet you, Jill", and I walked away utterly confused and elated because HOW DID HE KNOW MY NAME? I wanted to pass out. It wasn't until I was out of the bookstore that I remembered my name was on my shirt. A stupid looking polo shirt with a set of bowling pins on the back. I die.

whateverlolawants

@idkmybffjill That's absolutely hilarious.

Tragically Ludicrous

My dad got to shake his hand once and I'm pretty sure he talked about it in the same way.

Heat Signature

Sigh...just READING about holding hands with Bill (as I like to call him) caused a cocktail of neurotransmitters to flood my brain. Also, Lindsay Robertson needs to have a steady writing gig again because she is amazing (seriously, websites, get your heads out of your collective asses). Handholding bases! So great.

Snood Mood

@Heat Signature Seriously. Lindsey is one of my favorite writers on the interwebs.

charizard

I hate Jon Cryer's face so this story pleased me.

madge

@charizard at first i thought the first paragraph said "jon cryer cried" instead of "jon cryer tried" and was happy for a second.

TheUnchosenOne

Ducky was on a show with Charlie Sheen for like 8 years, of course that guy's an asshole.

Ham Snadwich

@TheUnchosenOne - Or at least an aspiring asshole.

Nicole Cliffe

This is so great! Also, I teared up when he spoke at my college about how there's nothing wrong with America that can't be fixed by the things which are right with America, and I'm not even American.

PistolPackinMama

@Nicole Cliffe It also kind of makes me love Hillary Clinton more than I do already. I think because she both succumbed to and also has a sort of "you have got to be fucking kidding me" no-nonsense attitude about her husband.

Like, people were all like "how can she stay with him????" And I was all like "she seems to have it figured out, so I am not too worried about her." And I strongly suspect Bill knows his charm only sorta works on her, and he actually has to, you know, work to impress her.

Or something.

Also, HRC is a badass Secretary of State. Of course.

whateverlolawants

@Nicole Cliffe I know he speaks at a lot of colleges and gives similar speeches, but you didn't happen to go to college in Indiana, did you now?

Caitlin Podiak

He spoke at my college graduation as well (Middlebury '07) and I got to shake his hand and didn't find it particularly thrilling. (I guess that intense charisma strikes me as sort of creepy rather than enticing.) I thought his speech was pretty mediocre and sounded like he was making it up on the spot, but a friend who was inexplicably obsessed with Middlebury watched the live-stream of our ceremony and reported that he gave an almost identical speech at Harvard's Class Day a week later.

Also I read an article recently that described Hillary saying that doing the handshaking gauntlet exhausts her but Bill finds it energizing, which makes me like Hillary more.

Also my mom is in a choir that sings Handel's Messiah at Carnegie Hall every December, and one year Hillary and Bill were there and came backstage and introduced themselves and my mom says Bill appeared to be wearing significantly more makeup than Hillary.

TheJacqueline

@PistolPackinMama I think it's more of a power union? I read somewhere that they have an insane intellectual chemistry. And they'll be at a party, and she's not the hottest thing there, and Bill is charming the pants off all the things there, but they connect because they're always far and away the smartest people in the room.

Tam
Tam

@whateverlolawants Nicole went to Harvard!

melis

@TheJacqueline I would forfeit literally any amount of my physical body in order to spend a night with the Clintons because I feel like they end each day in Talmudic conversation, nesting quotes-within-quotes from Marcus Aurelius and draping themselves in fine linens while a warm, fragrant breeze gently arranges Hillary's hair as it falls to the floor (she has the plaited locks of a wise woman underneath her business wig).

whateverlolawants

@Tam I guess not, then. :(

@TheJacqueline The "power union" theory was always put forth by my British roomie, who mentioned how seductive Bill was in all of our conversations about American politics. She really wanted to meet him and, hopefully, have an affair with him. She really liked Hillary too.

EpWs

@TheJacqueline I kind of love this theory.

atipofthehat

@melis

Please start a band called "Business Wig."

City_Dater

If he gave lessons in "Touch and Eye Contact" the whole world would either be a much better place, or in danger from hordes of suddenly successful pick-up-artists.

Sundae

I have always been totally fascinated by the charisma and charm he is so famous for. I just wonder how much any average person could cultivate that same draw and how much he was born with/came from powerful positions etc.

PistolPackinMama

@Sundae I get the impression it is because he is both slick and shiny AND sincere AND a really good people person AND smart AND thinks women are sexy foxes (in general- like people made fun of whatserface intern person, but really, she was a curvaceous bombshell, so of course he did) AND thinks they are smart and interesting.

It's funny how some people can operate on all those levels and not be particularly fake about it.

Or at least, he works that image really well.

Lily Rowan

@PistolPackinMama Yeah, and another part of it is a thing he got shit for, professionally -- he wants everyone to like him and will say what they want to hear in that moment, and genuinely believes it while he's saying it. At least, I believe that's true.

whatsherface

He shook my hand twice (TWICE!) at a book signing and I might have gushed to everyone I know as though I was just handed a Pulitzer AND a Nobel Prize. He really is that charismatic.

hallelujah

I am not ashamed to admit I have a slight sexual obsession with Bill Clinton. I used to live down the street from his Harlem office & concocted an elaborate daydream of running into him outside of the building and being immediately swept into a running black sedan. As a curvyish, dark haired young woman, I maintain this is not outside the realm of possibility (the man has a type!)

Slapfight

I'm all giggly just living through this vicariously.

werewolfbarmitzvah

OHHHHHHHH MAH GOD! This is amazing.

Also, just FYI, I thumbs-upped every negative comment about Jon Cryer in this thread.

Slapfight

Do you think this is what made Kim Jong Il release those two reporters?

dtowngirl

@Slapfight Clearly. Dictators like holding hands, too.

redheaded&crazy

@Slapfight Now I do!

HeyThatsMyBike

@Slapfight "As we were discussing my prisoners, President Clinton reached down and took my left hand and intertwined our fingers for a full-on holding-of-hands!" -Kim Jong Il

Heat Signature

@Slapfight I imagine the scenario went something like this:

(Bill Clinton walks into the room. Kim Jong Il immediately becomes red-faced and giggly.)

Clinton (shaking Jong Il's hand): Thank you for meeting with me, Your Excellency. I know you're a very busy man.

Jong Il (red-faced, stammering, clinging tightly to Clinton's hand): Y-y-you're wel-the pleasure is all mine, re-really.

Clinton (voice smooth as something really, really smooth): Do you think you could give us back those reporters?

Jong Il (still grasping Clinton's hand and now covered in a light sheen of perspiration): Why, y-yes, of course, Mr. Clint-clinton. Anything you need.

Clinton (smiling and dazzling Jong Il with his eye contact): Thank you so much. Have a great day.

(Jon Cryer is there for some reason, trying to work a disposable camera. Clinton disengages and walks out of the room, leaving Jong Il red-faced and giggly.)

Inconceivable!

@Slapfight Cannot like this comment enough.

PistolPackinMama

@all Oh god. The background in that photo looks like some kind of odd Nature Scene Option at the Sears Head of State Portrait Studio. I bet there's a room where KJI went to get portraits with his hands crossed on a carpeted box or something.

HeyThatsMyBike

@laurel Now I will forever believe that Jon Cryer took that photo. He finally figured out the flash!

Faintly Macabre

@laurel This seems like an appropriate place to link to

wildschild

I used to work at this amazing book store in my hometown. It was managed by this horrid woman who wore terrible sparkle flipflops. She was a bitter old grump, and not in the charming curmudgeon way. One quiet afternoon, a flock of particularly gorgeous super human young men marched in with those doodads in their ears, and in waltzes Billy. Grumpasaurus ran from her office to meet him and have him sign her copy of his latest biography. Being the snob I am, I walked away from the spectacle/ meeting him (I, too, refuse to stand in line), but continued to open mouth gape at the body guards and Grumpasaurus squealing.

Rosebudddd

@wildschild Thanks for "Grumpasaurus!"

dtowngirl

Your story made me momentarily in love with Bill Clinton by proxy.

eccles

I saw Bill once walking through Penn Station and nearly fell over. Just. "Oh my god it's him." TO THE KNEES.

whateverlolawants

@eccles I picture this being Penn Station, the sub restaurant, not the actual station.

eccles

@whateverlolawants You've made the classic blunder of believing the planet includes places other than New York City.

whateverlolawants

@eccles Silly me! But really, their fries are delicious.

HeyThatsMyBike

This makes me desperately want to shake/hold hands with Bill Clinton.

Koko Goldstein

LINDSAY! This story is the best, and I am also super excited to read something by you again.

datalass

A friend of mine has a photo hanging in her office of her, her husband, and Bill Clinton. BC is standing between the two of them. His right arm is encircling friend's husband's waist. His left arm is around her waist. He's towering over them, and he's smiling like there is nowhere else on earth he'd rather be. And that, I suspect, is his gift, that ability to be (or at least really seem to be) enthralled by the person with him.

mgll

I interned at his Harlem office ~5 years ago (...I know. We were SO careful about avoiding intern jokes...) and once a term he comes in specifically to speak/answer questions/take pictures with everyone. I was so excited that I momentarily kind of forgot how to shake hands and put my other hand on his shoulder by accident? And also didn't even quite stop walking, so the picture is blurry. But I love it, even though I look both blurry and insane.

laurel

@mgll I feel like yours is the absolutely correct reaction.

bean1

I also had the pleasure of meeting Bill. It was exactly this. He came into my office, shook 13 people's hands, and we all felt like we had this totally swoon worthy experience. I came away from it thinking, "Poor Monica! Man, I would have done the same thing! She never had a chance!" He cracked a few jokes, it was pretty much amazing. Also, he was hanging out in our office for the day,so we had Secret Service everywhere for awhile, and oh boy, those SS guys? Hot. All of them.

Caitlin Podiak

@bean1 Ooh, yes, when my mom met the Clintons she said she was way more interested in the overwhelming hotness of the SS guys.

bean1

@Caitlin Podiak I'm pretty sure there is a "hotness" box checked for all the SS guys; right next to, "will sacrifice self to protect the president", "can kill bad guys with bare hands" and "can carry on conversations well with earpiece in at all times"

whateverlolawants

@bean1 Simon Donovan sure fit that bill, amirite, ladies?

RIP!

bean1

@whateverlolawants Omg! West Wing love forever! So tragic, Simon's death. And CJ. CJ!

whateverlolawants

@bean1 That episode made me cry SO HARD.

whateverlolawants

@bean1 Also, I love CJ for saying what she said that made her have to get Secret Service protection in the first place.

bean1

@whateverlolawants I just loved that show, period. But CJ remains one of my top two favorite women in TV, right after Tammi Taylor from Friday Night Lights.

Decca

Yeah, well, I once high fived Grover Cleveland, so.

melis

@Decca I PROVIDED JAMES BUCHANAN WITH A SEXUAL AWAKENING HE GREW TO CARE FOR MY STRANGE WAYS UNTIL THE DAY FOR MY RETURN TO MY OWN TIME APPROACHED "WAIT - DON'T LEAVE, TRAVELER - I KNOW NOT YET IF -" BUT I WAS ALREADY GONE SHEDDING A SINGLE TEAR THAT STRETCHED OUT THE SPAN OF A LIFETIME

frigwiggin

@melis Buchanan? Yuck. Go back and get it right this time with Van Buren.

whateverlolawants

@frigwiggin Relevant to this thread...
The Five Hottest Presidents of the United States. I don't agree with all of her conclusions, mostly because WHERE IS FRANKLIN PIERCE? But I'd never realized William Henry Harrison was hot, so.

sovereignann@twitter

@whateverlolawants I died in 30 days!

Inkling

@whateverlolawants
Pierce, SO tragic and sexy. His son's head! The first day of presidency! Sheeeeesh. I wrote a poem about presidents in high school and he was in there fo sho.

whateverlolawants

@Inkcrafter I'd never read about his son and the train accident. So sad! Wow. And his vice president got sick and died in the first few weeks of the presidency, and may have been in a relationship with James Buchanan.

Mary Mouse

Lindsay, did you ever get the film developed? Maybe the picture could be salvaged in Photoshop?

reebs14

He really does have the best handshake ever. My God, the charisma is insane. I met him in high school when he came to speak at a local Economic Club event, so I have a sweet picture with him and my friend (with his arms around us both). He asked how old we were and when we replied, "16," his response was, "Good. That's real good."

....because we were young and interested in politics, or because that's the age of consent in Michigan? Either way, I love him.

madge

@reebs14 most hilarious/creepy thing ever. "that's reeeeeeal good."

reebs14

@madge That was his EXACT intonation. Heart you, Billy.

queenofbithynia

@reebs14 when I met him he asked how old I was, and when I told him he smiled and said, "I have a daughter that age!" Pressed my hand and looked me straight in the eyes and all.

-- sadly I was twelve or thirteen at the time so it really was a paternal/avuncular thing (ON HIS END, AT LEAST) and not the creepy sex sex sex thing it could have been had I met him four to ten short years later.

frigwiggin

Ahhh, I love how you name-dropped so many people without sounding the least bit obnoxious about it. Teach me your secrets! I want to learn how to talk about Erika Moen drawing me without sounding like a huge prat. (Oh wait.)

runner in the garden

@frigwiggin I want to hear this story!

frigwiggin

@runner in the garden Oh! It's not actually much of a story...see, my best friend and I have a personal style blog, and somehow Erika Moen came upon it (probably from when I linked to her site a bunch of times because I'm a huge fan of her work), and she ended up doing some sketches of outfits we'd posted! I nearly died of excitement when I saw them.

runner in the garden

@frigwiggin rad! I know Erika a little bit (take that, Zadie Smith thread) and I feel like you guys would get along.

frigwiggin

@runner in the garden I imagine it sometimes! In...in a non-creepy way. I met her at the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco a few years ago but I was so, so nervous that I doubt I made any sort of impression other than as Nervous Girl.

E
E

Bill winked at me once! He came to town to support some democratic nominee at a rally during his first year as president and I was pretty young- maybe 8/9ish. My dad put me up on his shoulders so i could see, and he totally winked at me and waved! It blew my mind- the PRESIDENT, the guy who owned Socks the cat, the most famous cat in the world, making eye contact with me.

lesleygee

@E i love that cat.

okaycrochet

@E Socks! As a kid in the 90's I only knew Bill as "owner of Socks." I had a book about Socks. Lurve.

travelmugs

@okaycrochet Didn't they get rid of Socks during his term as president? Most disappointing thing either Clinton has done. :(

Mad as a Hatter!

@travelmugs It came down to Socks or Buddy, and Buddy won. They're both dead now. =(

whateverlolawants

@Hello sweetie Well, now I've read the Wikipedia pages for both of them, may they rest in peace. The Socks page is particularly detailed. The NYT obit for Buddy is sad, but I'm glad they wrote it.

Also, you should probably read the Wikipedia page of presidential pets. Alligators, pgymy hippos, swearing parrots...

julnyes

So my story is the same as everyone else - I met Bill and Hillary at a "Celebrate Volunteers" sort of event at the White House. I shook both of their hands. She was engaging for the millisecond we interacted, but Bill has this ridiculous ability to appear completely fascinated by the person standing in front of him. It was all us volunteers could talk about for weeks afterwards.

whateverlolawants

A few weeks ago on some thread, I started to tell my story about meeting him, then stopped and said it should be a personal best and I would submit it. But I ain't mad. I didn't submit it! And Lindsay's is even better. I started jumping up and down a little at the part when Lindsay reached him in line.

I met him at a campaign event for his wife in 2008 at a high school gym. I went up to shake his hand after the speech, and people were going nuts over him, much more than they did for Barack Obama at his events. They just kept saying "Oh my god!" and pushing others. It was packed and chaotic. When he got close, I was struck by how red his face was, especially in contrast to his white hair. Also, the whole OMG IT'S BILL CLINTON IN PERSON thing.

He looked at me and I told him I was taking a class about his presidency, taught by a former CNN correspondent who had interviewed him several times. (I gave the guy's name.) He just nodded and shook my hand, and I forget if we said anything else. As he moved his attention to the people to my left, I stayed there watching him. After about 10 seconds, I realized I was still holding hands with him. He'd stopped looking at me, and was shaking hands with other people, but the other hand was still in mine, hidden below a sea of people holding things out to him.

I don't know which of us eventually dropped the other's hand, but it was hilarious. I suspect it was just the confusion of the moment, but it's fun to pretend he decided I was the girl he secretly wanted to hold hands with longer than anyone else. He didn't work his charisma too much, or make me feel like I was the only person in the room, but I bet if it had been a more dignified situation, he would have.

juksie

@whateverlolawants wait this is absolutely the funniest thing i have heard all day. oh my goodness oh my goodness, you were still holding his hand! too funny, my day (and tomorrow, probably) made.

whateverlolawants

@juksie Aww, now my day is made! Glad you liked it. :)

whateverlolawants

Also, I like Ashley Judd even more after this! It makes me feel better about my body, too. My dad met her at the Indy 500 last year after her husband Dario won it. He's in the media, so he went to their trailer to interview Dario. Ashley was hanging out there with their dogs (possibly labradoodles?) One jumped out of the trailer and my dad picked it up and held it like it was no big deal. Celebredogs! I already liked Ashley for writing that recent piece about sexism and lookism in the media, so my dad's story and this just seals the deal.

(The fourth reason: the poster in my sister's boyfriend's bedroom of Ms. Judd in a hockey jersey, with the 1999 University of Kentucky hockey schedule.)

eiffeldesigns

I've never had the pleasure of meeting Bill, but his charisma is so fucking insane you can be in the nosebleed section during the Democratic National Convention and he makes it feel like you are the only person in the room he's talking to. It's amazing.

I've seen him speak twice now- once at the 2004 DNC, then, more recently, at my company's annual conference. Both times I just could not wipe that stupid grin off my face. He just has that sumthin' sumthin'

ba-na-nas

I may or may not have slept with someone because they described me as "monica lewinski hot."

ForestSher

But what about meeting Bono...did you meet Bono! I did once, and he kissed me on my hand without it being even the tiniest bit creepy but totally endearing. Seriously he AND Clinton should tour the world teaching classes in charisma except I don't think it can be learnt. Also alleviating poverty is a worthy cause instead I guess : )

Diana

I met Bill Clinton when I used to do political fundraising. He is so skinny now. He did not make a move on me. I deeply regret not telling him how much I love and admire Hillary and wish that she was president. The end.

whateverlolawants

@Diana I had a customer tell me she knew him personally and that she was worried he's secretly ill, because of how skinny he is. I'm not sure that she actually knows him "well", but I do worry about Bill's health sometimes.

sudden_eyes

My sweet, WASPy, elderly mom met him a few years back - and she wasn't such a big fan, post-Lewinsky - and she had exactly this same OMG AMAZING OMG response. It was adorable. I haven't, er, had the privilege.

ladonnadeigatti

I met Bill and Al Gore when they started their first Presidential campaign and came thru my town. I stood in line to shake their hands and Al was first. I was really taken with how meltingly sweet and handsome he was, kind of like a big Dove bar. Bill was next but he was having a photo op for CNN with a little girl in a wheelchair, so Al had to entertain me a bit longer, which he did very charmingly. When it was finally time to move on to Bill, I was STUNNED by the waves of charisma that radiated from him! While Al was sweet and luscious, Bill just shot right through your chest, 100% pure animal magnetism coupled with piercing blue eyes that looked right into you. Even all of the men I've fallen madly in love with never had that kind of effect. I don't doubt that all those women thought he came on to them, Pres just can't help it!
Best part? I came to work the next day and several people told me they had turned on CNN and there was a big shot of me standing between Al and Bill! Well of COURSE!

whateverlolawants

@ladonnadeigatti I just love your descriptions of both of them!

spitfire

@ladonnadeigatti Yes! My friend interned for Al Gore (2 years prior to Monica) and had this exact same reaction. Al is ostensibly more handsome, smart, etc. and she always described him as a really great guy to work for. But! When Bill would wander over to the VP offices she said it was like sex walked into the room.
My own meeting Bill story took place in a Tex Mex restaurant in Austin where a huge group of us were celebrating my friend's birthday. Bill and entourage suddenly and unexpectedly entered the restaurant and the whole place just lit up. An informal receiving line formed and against our better judgement we all jumped in it. Bill shook my hand and I was so overcome that I had to blurt out "And it's that guys birthday!!!!" pointing to my friend. He immediately took his hand, slowly shaking it and looked deeply into his eyes. "What birthday is this for you then?" "I'm 28, Mr. President." "Oh, 28. That's really one of the great years. You're really going to enjoy this." My friend swooned slightly, his wife standing next to him swooned slightly, and of course I did too.

carolita

I met him, shook his hand, at an NYU event. Man, I'm not easily swooned, but I kinda swooned. He's got that sexual thing, let me tell you. Your face just heats up. He may be very pink and slightly bulbous, and not at all like Cary Grant, but man, he's got it. You know. "It." Pheromones? Charm? Sex appeal? Whatever it is, he's got it in spades.

contrary

My grandmother keeps a picture of Bill Clinton a collage frame with pictures of all of her grandchildren. I love her for that.

kitnen

I love this story! Some people just have that magnetism. Say what you will (actually, don't! I couldn't bear it!) but Eddie Vedder has it, too. He's kind and gentle and he stares directly into your eyes, giving you a long, sincere moment. I've stood in lines with crazed fans and Eddie, bless him, does his best to respond to their yips and screams with thoughtful, articulate and always gracious replies. And he has nice hands too.

atipofthehat

The time I met Hillary, when she first lady, I asked her if I could give her a copy of my book, which I just happened to be holding under my left arm. She said she would love a copy.

As I soon learned, when you reach for something under your left arm in the presence of the First Lady, time slows down as the Secret Service agents prepare to TAKE YOU OUT.

Lucky for me it was in slow motion; they saw it was just a book and called it off.

celeec4@twitter

It's really weird. Some people are just like that, I really wish I had a, "when I met (fleetingly) Bill Clinton" story to share...but I have a, I was in the nosebleed section of a gigantor stadium during Barack Obama's whirlwind campaign of rallies at college campuses.
Everything here has described the reaction my friend and roommate had after the event was over. Standing in a 2 mile long line, in the cold. Clutching the one lone hot mug of tea I had left over from class. Going, omgwhat. <3 <3 <3 DESPITE being in the nosebleed section, charisma, all over the goddamn walls and the only person anyone seemed to see.

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