Seeing Madeline Albright.
Here are pictures from the Madeleine Albright book-signing at Keplers, my favorite local bookstore.
I went to the event completely as a whim: Keplers is beside Barrone, my favorite cafe, and I decided that it would be cool to have Albright’s book. She always struck me as an interesting person, and I’ve appreciated the irony that her father was Condi Rice’s dissertation advisor.
Of course, it was totally packed. There were several hundred people in the bookstore, and a bunch of us outside, listening via speakers. She was very funny. She told one story about her campaign to get Botrous Botrous-Ghali removed from the UN secretary generalship. At one point, she said, the two of them were having lunch, and Butrous-Ghali said, “A Nigerian soothsayer told me my future. She said, ‘You will be betrayed. Your betrayer will be a woman… and her name will be Madeline.’ So I did.”
After speaking for a while and answering a few questions (mainly softballs on Syria, unilaterialism, that kind of thing), she started signing books. By my count, I was somewhere in the 300s.
The end of the line
Nonetheless, by the time I got close she was still chatting with people, being friendly, and generally not giving the impression of having already signed 299 books and engaged in three hours of chit-chat.
Signing another one
When I was a couple people back, the Keplers people started talking about shutting down, or at least stopping the personalization of books (i.e., “To Bill, Best, Madeleine Albright”). Without stopping her signing, she shook her head. “No, no, that wouldn’t be fair,” she said. “I’ll just sign them faster.” Very classy.
I got one for Heather, of course, and also had her sign one to Elizabeth. Granted, Elizabeth’s other autographed book is a copy of Jane Yolen’s “How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?” but one day she’ll appreciate having a book signed by our first female Secretary of State.