The time I met Olivia Pope with the President

So the title may be slightly misleading, but not really.

Last night, I attended the William Waldo Cameron Forum on Public Affairs presents Judy Smith, Ivan Allen, and Kathleen Shanahan. Had you ever heard of them? Me neither.

But once I read their short biographies, I was so excited to attend this event. The full descriptions (and broadcast of the interview) are here: http://bush41.org/bushadmin. Here’s the quick and dirty:

Judy Smith: Former Special Assistant and Press Secretary to President H.W Bush. Also, she’s the inspiration and Executive Producer of ‘Scandal.’ She’s Olivia Pope, ya’ll.

Ivan Allen: Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislation to President H.W Bush. Was on several seasons of the West Wing and can be heard as a regular voice-over artist.

Kathleen M. Shanahan: Former Special Assistant to Vice President Bush. Current CEO bad ass.

A few girlfriends and I sat in the very small lecture hall at the George Bush Presidential Library waiting for the program, when a side door opened and in came President H.W Bush, followed closely by Babs.

Have you ever been in a room with a President? I definitely hadn’t and I didn’t realize how excited I would get. I mean, this was dangerously close to Pioneer Woman excitement. Don’t worry. I didn’t embarrass myself. They were ten rows ahead of me. I was totally casual. No big deal. Just sitting here with the President.

Anyway, the program was a casual question and answer conversation, but it was pretty awesome. Here are a few take-aways:

1) When asked, “What advice would you give a woman pursuing a career in business?” Kathleen M. Shanahan replied:

“Don’t be intimidated. If you can run a carpool you can run a business.”

2) At one point, the moderator asked Judy how she got into politics and she replied simply, “I started in service. I live to serve others.” She continued:

“It’s not about what you get or what you have. It’s about what you give.”

^^I just met my new hero.

3) Judy Smith can DRESS. Y’all, she walked in the room in a Olivia-Pope-esque white suit. Oh my goodness. Afterwards, I wanted to meet her and ask her where she bought her suit. Thankfully, I had friends with me who wouldn’t let me do that.

Below is the only picture I took–I didn’t want to be obnoxious and take one during the presentation so I slyly took one as we exited the room (the moderator is the bald one…and he’s in the way of Ms. Smith’s suit.)

IMG_7793Additional takeaways? I’m ready to move to Washington, D.C and work for a President. Who’s with me?

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