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12-year-old has 'chance of a lifetime' to meet Obama

The Ensign Intermediate School seventh-grade student traveled to Bakersfield with his mother to greet the president coming off Air Force One.

October 20, 2012|By Britney Barnes
  • Ensign Intermediate School student Alex Posa skipped school to meet President Obama at the Bakersfield Airport on Oct. 8. The seventh-grade student got a pat on the back and a hand shake from the President. He wrote a report for his teachers about his experience.
Ensign Intermediate School student Alex Posa skipped… (Courtesy Carol…)

When Alex Posa, 12, was asked if he wanted to meet the president, he didn't hesitate to say yes. The experience didn't disappoint.

"I was pretty excited," Alex said. "I couldn't wipe the smile off my face for the next week."

The Ensign Intermediate School seventh-grade student played hooky with his mother, Carol Seguin, Oct. 8 to meet President Obama. After meeting the president, Alex wrote a report about the experience for his teachers to make up for the absence.

"It was a chance of a lifetime to meet the president of the United States and the leader of the free world," Seguin said.

The mother and son didn't tell anyone before hand because it wasn't definite that they would actually be able to meet Obama.

The day of, they waited on the tarmac of Meadows Field Airport in Bakersfield as Obama debarked from Air Force One. When the president stepped from the plane, the crowd broke out in applause, Alex said.

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Alex said he felt "pretty jittery — nervous, but excited."

Right in front, Obama came over to Alex to shake his hand, and Seguin made sure to capture the moment.

"I said 'Hi, Mr. President,' and he said, 'Hi' back," Alex said. "He put his hand on my shoulder and shook my hand and said, 'I'm glad to meet you.'"

Seguin was surprised at how tall and presidential Obama is in person, and that he took the time to say hello to everyone. He was very personable, she said.

The Newport Heights family was presented with the opportunity through a friend of Alex's aunt. Alex knew about Obama from watching the 2004 presidential debates with the same aunt. That experience was his first time paying attention to politics.

He said he is interested in the democratic process and the county's leaders, and is following the election this year.

"I'm a big Obama fan, but I'm not a Democrat," Alex said. "I'm an Independent."

The whole family supports Obama, but Seguin is trying to teach her son he doesn't have to support a candidate just because his parents do. She also wants to keep Alex from falling into the trap of voting for a candidate just because of his or her political party — she wants her son to consider each candidate individually.

"I want him to not identify with one party or another, but keep his mind open," Seguin said. "I want him to be bipartisan."

britney.barnes@latimes.com

Twitter: @britneyjbarnes

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