President Barack Obama was swept off his feet by an ardent supporter while campaigning in Florida Sunday (Sept. 9).
Literally: When Obama made an unannounced visit to a Fort Pierce pizzeria, its owner, Scott Van Duzer, embraced the chief executive in a huge bear hug and lifted him a few feet off the ground.
“Man, are you a power lifter or what?” our 6-foot-1, 176-pound president asked Van Duzer after landing.
It wasn’t exactly a chance meeting: Van Douzer is a philanthropist whose blood-donor efforts were praised by Obama:
“One of the reasons that we wanted to stop by is that Scott has been doing unbelievable work out of this pizza shop in promoting the importance of donating blood,” POTUS said at the Big Apple Pizza and Pasta Italian Restaurant.
“He has set some records here in Florida,” continued Obama. “He has received commendations from the White House, the surgeon general, he has galvanized and mobilized the local community and he’s educating kids and folks all across the country on this issue.”
Later, Van Douzer told reporters the Secret Service sanctioned his PDA:
“[They] said I was all right as long as I didn’t take him away.”