Real estate broker confronts Obama on housing

People in Real Estate: LuAnn Levine

If, as Andy Warhol said, everyone eventually gets their 15 minutes of fame, LuAnn Lavine is getting hers.

Or at least five, maybe six minutes. In the week or so since she stood up in a crowd and asked President Obama how he planned to help the housing market, the Geneseo, Ill., real estate agent has been showered with media attention — here she is, asking her question in a clip on "NBC Nightly News," there she is on CBS’ "Sunday Morning." Here she is in a Chicago Sun-Times story, there she is on her local news.

Most improbably, perhaps, there she is in the lead sentence of influential columnist Maureen Dowd’s Aug. 21 piece in the New York Times, explaining why she sought out President Obama on his recent bus tour through western Illinois.

"Everyone was so hopeful with him, but Washington grabbed him and here we are," Dowd quotes what Lavine said in a New York Times interview a few days earlier. "I just wanted him to stay strong and don’t take the guff. We want a president who is a leader, and I want him to be a little bit stronger."

The widely syndicated Dowd column has rocketed around the Internet, and Lavine has spent days clearing away emails and fielding reaction from locals and reporters.