Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak buoyed Minnesotans feeling the loss of President Obama with a Facebook post about his weekend meeting at the White House.
Rybak, the three-term mayor of the state’s bluest city and potential gubernatorial candidate, was in D.C. Friday for a final visit with Obama and to attend the president’s final White House bash.
The mayor, now the head of the Minneapolis Foundation, recounted his evening in a Facebook post that has been shared thousands of times. Rybak wrote about feeling forlorn as he walked down Pennsylvania Avenue for a final chat with the president. He recalled the pride he felt eight years ago as the Obama family prepared to move into the White House but said he felt hollow when he thought about all that would be lost — until he met for a few minutes with Obama.
“I turned the corner to the Oval Office to see him looking more energized than he has in months, and with that huge smile on this face that has lifted so many of us so many times,” Rybak said.
The former mayor described himself as “overwhelmed” as he told Obama how he felt nine years ago when the candidate won the Iowa caucuses and now it was over. “He put his arm on my shoulder and looked at me intensely, saying, ‘We aren’t done yet,’ ” Rybak wrote.
“I wish I could have bottled the look in his eyes so all the people I know, and don’t, who feel dishearten[ed] now, who are so fearful of what comes next, and who feel a sense of loss, know he is absolutely not, under any circumstances, going to stop fighting for what we believe in,” Rybak continued.
He went on to describe his many emotions from that day and on a lighter note, later posted a photo of himself and his wife, Megan O’Hara, walking into the star-studded bash with megastar Usher photobombing them.
More than 20,000 people have reacted to Rybak’s post and hundreds have commented and thanked him. “It’s really important for us to hear this,” wrote one.