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Beyond the speeches, Tennessean reporters share some other stories from the day President Obama visited Nashville.

One president to another

You know you are having a good day when not only do you get to meet the president and introduce him to a gym crammed with eager Nashvillians, but then the president also takes the podium and compliments your bow tie.

"I tried to suck up the moment as much as possible," said McGavock student body president Ronald Elliott, minutes before taking the podium to make the introduction.

The president asked Elliott about his college plans and made a little small talk.

It was easy, Elliott said, like catching up with an old friend you haven't seen in a while. Of course, Elliott's nerves were still working his stomach and causing a little amnesia.

"I had something I wanted to ask him but it went right out of my head," he said.

-Jessica Bliss

Fainting spells

Ambulances shrieked their way up to McGavock High's doors during Obama's visit, but apparently not for anything too serious.

After folks stood shivering in line for at least an hour just to get to the security tent, they stood for hours more inside the hot, crowded gym, waiting for the president's late arrival to the stage.

Medics rolled a gurney up to one lightheaded man only to be turned away. He apparently wasn't giving up his spot to see the leader of the free world.

But later, just before the president's speech, one woman didn't fare as well. A Tennessean photographer captured her on a gurney, being wheeled past the media risers at the back of the gymnasium, covering her face with both hands against the camera clicks.

-- Karen Kraft and Larry McCormack

Democrats show up, Republicans -- not so much

The elected officials who showed up for President Barack Obama's appearance in Nashville said a lot about party affiliation. This was a day for Democrats, while most Republicans stayed away.

Obama was greeted at the airport by Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and Congressman Jim Cooper, both Democrats. Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis was in the crowd at McGavock High School. Tennessee's seven Republican members of Congress stayed away.

Gov. Bill Haslam had planned to greet Obama upon his arrival, but David Smith, a spokesman for the governor, said Thursday afternoon that delays in the president's schedule made a meeting impossible. Haslam had to head out of state for economic development meetings, according to his office, and notified the White House that he would not be on the tarmac.

Sen. Bob Corker's chief of staff, Todd Womack, said the senator couldn't work out a way to attend "because of scheduled committee hearings and possible votes." Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Republican and the state's senior senator, also did not attend. He sent out a news release just before the event about the effort to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act, Obama's signature legislative accomplishment.

-- Brian Wilson, Duane Gang and Michael Cass

A handshake to remember

Gushing after shaking the president's hand, Amanda Ferguson wasn't ready to wash off the mojo.

Ferguson was one of a large collection of student volunteers who helped check-in those with tickets, seat distinguished guests, and escort people through the high school hallways. In her blue blazer and sharp red scarf, she represented her school with pride.

After Obama's speech, she worked her way to the front of the crowd to embrace the palm of her nation's president.

Would she wash her hand ever again?

Probably, but not anytime soon.

"I'm going to cherish it for a pretty good while," she said.

-Jessica Bliss

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