It was 2003, and Barack Obama was a state senator from Illinois preparing to run for the United States Senate. He attended an elite garden party in New York City, and was one of the few African Americans at the event.
Journalist Katie Rosman of the Wall Street Journal approached Obama, who, she writes, "[looked] as awkward and out-of-place as I felt." She spoke to him about his campaign and was struck by his quiet charisma.
"...what I will always remember is as I was leaving that party in 2003, I was approached by another guest, an established author. He asked about the man I had been talking to. Sheepishly he told me he didn't know that Obama was a guest at the party, and had asked him to fetch him a drink. In less than six years, Obama has gone from being mistaken for a waiter among the New York media elite, to the president-elect."