BACKGROUND: As a resident of southern Columbia, the most exciting event I've experienced in the area was a balloon lift-off that occurred close to my apartment.
But John McCain easily surpassed the mounds of hot air when made a surprise visit to Columbia. Although the Republican
presidential contender only stopped for a bite to eat at a local BBQ joint, the trip understandably set off a local media frenzy. Me and my good friend Parker Eshelman were part of the local media pool that followed McCain from Columbia's airport to Buckingham Smokehouse Bar-B-Q.
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: McCain did make a statement at the end of his lunch about how Barack Obama wouldn't be good for the economy. But other than that, it was a terribly substantive affair. But it did give me a chance to meet some members of McCain's media horde, including Glenn Johnson. Johnson, of course, is the Associated Press reporter who confronted Mitt Romney about whether the former Massachusetts governor had lobbyists running his campaign. It was great getting to talk with him for a few moments.
I also enjoyed talking to Russ Duker, a local businessman active in the Boone County Republican Party. Duker was one of the people picked to have lunch with the presidential aspirant, and I enjoyed conversing with him after the event was over. It showed that a mundane event to the media can be a life-changing moment for others.
FUN FACT: McCain's actual lunch was closed to the media, so Eshelman and I ate outside the front door. The food was excellent.