- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 25, 2009

The glow around Obama volunteers Mark Bernstein and Carolyn Weiss is more than residual excitement from their close-in view of Barack Obama’s inauguration. Sure, that was a thrill, but in truth they were otherwise engaged.

As Mr. Obama vowed to serve the nation and uphold the Constitution, Mr. Bernstein, shivering on the Capitol grounds, had vows of his own in mind.

Minutes after the new president’s speech, Mr. Bernstein, 40, read Miss Weiss, 38, a long letter about his feelings and the “thousands of little things” that allowed them to meet - including that a man with ancestors from Kenya married a woman from Kansas. Finally came the words that had bubbled inside him during the couple’s frigid trek to the Capitol and throughout the ceremony.

“Will you marry me?” asked Mr. Bernstein, a regulatory analyst from Bethesda. Surrounded by a million or more people, Miss Weiss, a lawyer from Rockville, said yes.

The setting was a no-brainer for Mr. Bernstein. The couple met last summer volunteering at the Bethesda office of the Obama campaign. Mr. Bernstein, a weary veteran of the “typical boy-meets-girl, boy-asks-girl-out process,” welcomed the easy friendship.

Their first date was just before the Nov. 4 election. Everything clicked. By December he knew he wanted to marry her. The time and place to clinch the deal - cold but obvious, he said.

“It certainly was the backdrop I wanted,” he said, “as I would not have met her if not for Obama.”

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