Clovis native chats with president on national TV

A Clovis native sat on a four-person panel with President Bush on Wednesday during a campaign stop the president made to Rochester, Minn.

Asked by Bush to tell her story, former Cameo Elementary fifth-grade teacher 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 because her husband got a job at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

The president then asked why she left Clovis, then realized she had already answered the question, and said “‘I know why you left Clovis.’ He was correcting himself light-heartedly.”

Wooten 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. “He has made a lot of wonderful decisions for our country.”

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: