Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The Special Envoy Selects His Ice Cream

I attended a day-long conference at a hotel in downtown Chicago today and listened to a number of speakers, some talking about commercial real estate, others about the wider economy. Some were more interesting than others, as usual for these events.

After the lunchtime program, I took the opportunity to shake George Mitchell's hand. As in former Senator and Special Envoy George Mitchell, who was one of the luncheon speakers, and an intensely interesting one at that. He managed, for example, to describe the Arab-Israeli conflict in a way that was worth listening to, rather than being the same retreads about that situation that you hear ad nauseum.

At the moment I approached him, he was considering which kind of ice cream bar he wanted for dessert. Rather than serve dessert at the tables, the event provided it outside the ballroom, a selection of pastries, cookies and Dove Bars.

I didn't interrupt him for long. Just long enough to express some admiration for some of the work he's done for his country (and baseball, though I didn't mention it). He thanked me and that was that. Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to take his picture.

I did, however, take pictures of the other lunchtime speakers, former Secretary of Defense William Cohen (Republican) and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (Democrat). Daschle, obviously used to such attention, assumed that I would want to pose with him as well as taking his picture, so I did. The pic was taken by another journalist I know who was also attending the event.

That's more former federal government officials than I've ever met in one day.



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