by Mark MacKenzie
President, New Hampshire AFL-CIO
I was surprised to read an account on NH Insider that a guest at Monday’s AFL-CIO breakfast was felt that Senator Obama’s visit to the breakfast was disruptive in some way. As the president of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO, let me say that we were thrilled to have Senator Obama, and we were very pleased with how the event went.
While I can understand the guest’s perspective, the Labor Day breakfast is always a lively event, especially when our national candidates visit, and some degree of hubbub is to be expected. When Senator Obama arrived, many guests got up from their seats and went over to meet him—and he was good enough to shake hands and say a few words to everyone at the event who wanted to speak to him.
We had intended for the speaking program to be complete by the time Senator Obama arrived, but—as often happens at these events—the program ended up running significantly behind schedule. As a result, when Senator Obama showed up as scheduled, there were still speakers at the rostrum. Obama was very respectful of the speakers while still making sure to be responsive to all of the union members who wanted to greet him.
Since the breakfast I’ve received nothing but good feedback from guests about Senator Obama. I’m disappointed to see that his visit is being mischaracterized. We at the New Hampshire AFL-CIO are grateful that he could stop by, and we look forward to seeing him again soon.