Bush jokes with former Clovis elementary teacher

by Mike Linn

President Bush took a light-hearted jab at Clovis on Wednesday during a campaign stop in Rochester, Minn., a Clovis native who sat with the president said.

Asked by Bush to tell her story, a former Clovis fifth-grade teacher at Cameo Elementary, Jill Wooten, said she grew up in a little town in eastern New Mexico called Clovis.

She told the president she moved in the summer of 2003 to Minnesota, where her husband got a job at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

“The president said ‘I know Clovis, we all know why you left there’ but he meant it as a joke. He was joking around, we were joking back and forth,” Wooten said.

Wooten, who sat on the panel with three other people, said the president had a presence about him that was very calming and soothing. When he met Wooten back stage, he assured her the event — broadcast Wednesday on CNN — would be a breeze.

“It was amazing. He was literally waving his arms two inches away from me. It was unbelievable, surreal,” Wooten said.

Reporter’s notebook was compiled by CNJ news editor Mike Linn. He can be contacted at P.O. Box 1689, Clovis 88102. The e-mail address is: