Mayor Sanders reacts to Dalai Lama visit - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Mayor Sanders reacts to Dalai Lama visit

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Not easily awed by celebrity status, Mayor Jerry Sanders said Thursday he was fascinated by the week's visit of the 14th Dalai Lama to San Diego.

"I would have to rank this right up at the top," said Sanders of his mayoral experiences.

Sanders greeted the Dalai Lama at Lindbergh Field on Tuesday and presented him with a key to the city during Thursday's appearance at San Diego State University.

"There's just a different aura about him," the mayor said.

Sanders noted that his constituents reacted similarly, in that they seemed more excited about the Dalai Lama than other visitors to a destination city that routinely draws U.S. presidents and entertainers and is the off-season home of numerous star athletes.

"I think the younger generation just finds it absolutely one of the most important things, and they just revere him," Sanders said. "I think that's probably a pretty good person to model yourself after."

He has a very good sense of humor and doesn't take himself too seriously, the mayor said.

"Everyone had all these (instructions), 'don't do this, don't do that,' when he came up he immediately shook my hand even though they said don't approach him like that," Sanders said.

The mayor said he was "unbelievably impressed" with the message of compassion expressed at the SDSU talk.

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