Last week, Wendeen reconnected with a remarkably relaxed and refreshed President Barack Obama, outside Washington (which is where they first met in 2008). The president was the quintessential starring attraction at the Streiker Center/Temple Emanu-el, in New York.
After sampling chef Daniel Boulud’s signature short ribs (which Wendeen highly recommends), the President made his way to a special reception at the Temple before joining Rabbi Joshua Davidson in the main sanctuary of the Temple for a “conversation.”
At the reception, in earshot of Wendeen’s friends, nearby, the President caught her eyes and ears. After greeting her with her childhood nickname, Wendeen joined the president for a picture, responding with a smile she did not intend for the camera. The president was soon ready to rock and roll for his eager and enthusiastic audience.
Mr. Obama navigated delicately on the subject of Israeli American relations during his administrations, lightened up describing Passover Sedars at the White House, and boldly took on the issue of fake news all around us.
President Obama, resonated deeply with his audience. His simple and sage advice on what to tell our children, in this complicated world, was potent: “I tell my girls, “be kind and be useful.”
How about that for some sanity!