POLAND – A second-grader at Poland Community School who supported George W. Bush’s presidential bid had no problem lining up tickets for this week’s presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C.
All he had to do was ask.
John Callahan III called U.S. Sen. Susan Collins’ office last week, requesting three tickets, but his mother wasn’t hopeful.
“I thought maybe he’d get a signed picture or something,” Christine Callahan said.
“I was wrong,” she added. “I never ever thought they’d listen to a 7-year-old boy.”
Instead, John got the three tickets that will enable him and his parents to travel to the nation’s capital for the inaugural festivities and watch as Bush takes the oath of office.
The visit will include some extras. On Thursday, the family will take a tour of the Capitol Building. On Friday, they’ll be shown around the White House. And on Saturday morning, they’ll have breakfast with Sens. Collins and Olympia Snowe.
John became a fan of the president-elect months ago.
His mom and dad both liked what the Texas governor said about criminals. John liked what he heard about schools.
“He said he would help schools,” John said. “Reading. Math. Writing. All that.”
When his school held its own election, John voted for Bush, who won the straw poll. He also stood with his mother in the voting booth and filled in the Bush arrow on her ballot with a black marker.
But when he tried to feed the heavy paper into the mechanical ballot counter, a clerk stopped him.
“She wouldn’t let me,” he said. “I’m not a grown-up.”
When his candidate won, John saw no reason why he shouldn’t join in the celebration.
His mother was skeptical about his chances, but finally dialed the number for Collins’ office. Two hours later, they called her
back, saying they were working with Washington to fill John’s request.
“I’m amazed,” she said, thinking about the days ahead. After all that’s happened, she wouldn’t be shocked if he actually got to meet Bush.