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Obamas surprise campaign loyalists, including a Utahn

Published January 22, 2013 2:26 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The first event Nikki Norton Nelmark ever planned was Barack Obama's lone campaign stop in Utah way back in 2007. It got her hooked on politics.

Now six years later, she made her first trip to the White House on Tuesday and the president was there to greet her.

President Obama, his wife Michelle and their dog Bo, surprised staff members from the Democratic National Committee and campaign volunteers who lined up for a post-inauguration tour of the White House.

At one time, Nelmark was the Utah director for Obama for America before she moved from Park City to D.C. a year ago to work in the DNC's data department. She said she didn't know she would get to greet the president until she saw him through the door to the Blue Room.

"It was amazing. There was a whole group of us waiting outside the White House in the cold," she said. "None of us expected to meet them."

Nelmark said the president recognized her from past campaign events. She was also able to exchange pleasantries with First Lady Michelle Obama, quickly pet the First Dog and then head out the door, where the roughly 100 participants were handed a cookie in the shape of the White House.

— Matt CanhamTwitter: @mattcanham