Denver " Gov. Ritter welcomes Michelle Obama to Colorado |

Denver " Gov. Ritter welcomes Michelle Obama to Colorado

Rebecca Boyle
The Greeley Tribune/Fort Collins Now

Shortly after noon on Sunday, a group of greeters arrived outside a hangar at Denver International Airport’s general aviation terminals. The group included several first-time delegates, including Ann Hadfield of Pennsylvania and Debra Haaland of New Mexico. It was very hot on the tarmac.

Haaland shook hands with Gov. Bill Ritter, who asked her name, and she asked his in return. “I’m Bill. I’m the governor of Colorado,” he said, and she laughed with embarrassment. “If you were the governor of New Mexico, I’d know you,” she said.

Your correspondent waited until roughly 12:25 for Michelle Obama’s plane to land. Arriving in a private jet, white with gold trim, Michelle wore casual black pants and a long white blouse.

She got off the plane with her daughters, Sasha and Malia, and her mother, Marian Ross. Obama embraced Jeannie Ritter, Colorado’s first lady, and the governor and their daughter Tally, 15. Everyone took turns exchanging hugs.

Bill Ritter said afterward that he welcomed Obama to Colorado and told her the road to the White House runs through the West and through Colorado. He said she was very relaxed. “We had this nice sidebar conversation, so it was really good,” he said afterward.

Michelle Obama proceeded to hug each delegate and volunteer and speak with them before moving down the line. She introduced her daughters to each. Haaland wiped her eyes with a tissue after embracing Obama and speaking with her for a moment.

Michelle spoke with the Ritters one more time before getting into a silver Suburban, where she cracked open a bottled water and tended to her daughters. She didn’t address the gaggle of cameras assembled to record her arrival. A spokeswoman for the Obama campaign said she was headed to her hotel in Denver to prepare for her prime-time speech tonight at the Pepsi Center.

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