• "This is the President of the United States sitting next to me."

    Thursday night a group of supporters sat down for dinner—with President Obama. These lucky folks were the winners of our first Dinner with Barack contest, picked from thousands of entries for the opportunity to meet the President in person over a meal. Here are a few of their first impressions from the experience:

    "It was wonderful. There was all this anticipation, and the whole day was spent in preparation for our dinner, so all of us were anxious and excited and our heart rates were way up there. But he came in and was just so wonderful at making us feel relaxed and calming us down. In the first few minutes we all went 'Oh, okay, we can do this.' He introduced himself to all of us and really listened to what we had to say. He made sure each one of us got to say something. He was very humble and modest and just exactly the guy I thought he was."

    —Wendi

    "He was a little shorter than I was expecting—I was expecting him to be really really tall for some reason. He was really charming and easy to talk to. And it was like we were just having a normal dinner, just a couple people sitting around a table having a meal talking about the issues. We were joking that it would have been a totally different vibe if we had just gone to the White House and met him in his office. We were completely wide open on questions—we could ask whatever we wanted. It was cool and down to earth, but he’s still the President—so it really blows your mind when you think about it."

    —Casey

    "It was wonderful, delicious, exciting. I don’t have the words. I had the swordfish, and they had the best dinner rolls. The President was so eager to meet us. He asked about our states and our families. Every now and then I had to take a moment and think, ‘This is the President of the United States sitting next to me.’"

    —Juanita

    Stay tuned for more from our Dinner with Barack winners in the coming weeks.