Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I will still not have met the president

My last year in college, after semesters of sniping at their columnists in the feedback forums, the Badger Herald offered me a column of my own. I hadn't expected there to be any journalistic trappings but, one morning, I found myself heading to Milwaukee with some colleagues to a forum on the USA Patriot Act sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union.

We were the first people to wander into the room and, after I'd relished first pick of the donuts and continental breakfast, I took a seat just near enough the end of the U-shaped conference table to be inconspicuous (any closer would've looked weird for the first people in). As I enjoyed my fruit medley, a well-dressed gentleman sat down next me. It was ex-Clinton-nemesis turned libertarian evangelist, Bob Barr. He was accompanied by his lovely wife and we had a polite conversation innocuous enough that I've completely forgotten what we talked about; then he and ACLU President Nadine Strossen gave a presentation on the abuses of the Patriot Act.

All in all, my encounter with Bob Barr was thoroughly unremarkable. He's a pleasant, principled man . . . who will not be president.

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