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Mrs. Green Goes to Washington

February 5, 2014

Frances Green was a small-time donor to the Republican Party.  When she received a mailing which included an invitation to meet the President, she spent all her money on a four-day train ride from California to Washington, D.C.  Unfortunately, she had failed to RSVP before coming.

The 83-year-old arrived at the White House at the appointed time, but since she was not on the list, she was not admitted.  An executive in the auto industry, someone who had also been standing in line, noticed her and intervened, but he could not get her in until a day or two later.

Again Frances came to the White House.  This time she was able to get in, but the President was tied up in meetings due to the recent resignation of a cabinet officer and military action overseas.  As consolation the auto executive gave her a personal tour of the White House.  Before leaving they stopped by the Oval Office just in case the President was available.

While standing there they watched as members of the National Security Council and some important military people exited.  The auto executive peeked into the Oval Office, and the President signaled for them to enter.

“Frances!  Those darn computers, they fouled up again!  If I’d known you were coming I would have come out there to get you myself.”

Then the President and Mrs. Green sat down and talked about life in California.  There was nothing Mrs. Green could do for the President politically, but that didn’t matter.  He honored her persistence and enjoyed her company.  He gave her a lot of time despite the press of public business.  That’s how Ronald Reagan was.

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