Looking Back, Malloy Recalls His Own Panic

Dec 14, 2013

From left, Governor Dannel Malloy, Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra, and President Barack Obama at a Sandy Hook interfaith vigil at Newtown High School on December 16, 2012.
Credit Pete Souza / White House

Governor Dannel Malloy was quick to say that he didn't, and doesn't, want to make what happened in Newtown about him.

Still, on that day, Malloy was at the center of the story.  

It fell to him to let parents and family members know that their loved ones were gone. And, two days later, President Obama asked him for his help keeping the families company. That's when Malloy said he felt his own panic.

Listen to him describe it below:

"I actually had a panic attack – not debilitating," the governor said, "but, I mean, I probably started sweating, and I got very nervous. Because much of what I had been thinking, when I had time to think since I had done that was, 'Geez, these people must hate me.' And it was a relieving, and healing, experience for me to go now spend time with folks who I had seen, made eye contact with, remembered, and talk about what had happened on Friday, and how they were doing, and understanding that there was no transference of blame to me for doing what I needed to do. It made me feel better."

I spoke with Malloy in his office last week in advance of today's anniversary. You can hear more from that interview here.