BISMARCK, N.D. - I never got a chance to interview President George H.W. Bush, but I did have the opportunity for a one-on-one with First Lady Barbara Bush the night before the 1992 election.
She had been campaigning all day and she got to Bismarck sometime mid-day. I was in a small back room at the Arrowhead Mall in Bismarck with photographer, Cliff Naylor. There were no windows. We couldn’t see anything. We were simply told to wait. While we did, a member of the Secret Service detail came in and checked the room, they brought in a dog, they checked our bags and cameras, etc. And then they left and we waited some more.
At one point, a guy in coveralls wandered through and climbed up into the ceiling. We thought he must be part of the security detail, but when the Secret Service agent checked back and saw the ceiling open, there was a flurry of activity. The dogs came back, the agents came back and we were taken to a different room for a time. We were later told it was a maintenance man who just sort of stumbled through. How he got in, I do not know.
As for the interview, she was gracious, but strong. She had a mission, to campaign for her husband, and she fulfilled it admirably. It was a great memory.