The Howard University Gospel Choir performs for former President Barack Obama at the Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House on March 30th, 2016 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)
The first time I saw him, he was the rookie senator from Illinois — a mix of cleverness and cool. He was slated to address the 2007 College Democrats of America Convention, which took place in Columbia, South Carolina, where, conveniently, I lived. More convenient still, a friend of mine was one of the event’s organizers, so I also had the luck of joining a small group of people, plucked from the hundreds in attendance who met the senator before he went onstage. It was over in a few seconds. But that was all my 17-year-old self needed. For the next year and a half, the only thing I wanted was for this man who shared my skin to be my next president.
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