Five, four, three, two, one. The doors open to the White House and you are summoned in by officials. They lead you briskly to a conference room. At this point, you have tunnel vision, unaware of the people around you due to the adrenaline pumping through your veins.
“The President will be with you shortly,” one of his guards assures you.
Your palms sweat as you read over your questions. Being sporadically called and chosen to interview Obama was earth shattering for you yesterday. Today, you took the first flight to DC, because your racing heart couldn’t handle another second of anxiety.
Six minutes is all he has to spare. What will you ask him?
Most of us will only have the luxury of envisioning a six minute interview with the president in our heads. However, recently, President Obama has made efforts to speak directly with local media; a dream come true for many reporters. Kirsten Kealy, co-anchor and producer for WDAY News in Fargo, ND, was welcomed into the White House on February 26. Instructed to ask typical questions about politics, finances, and his legacy, Kealy obliged by hitting on North Dakota’s main concerns, the Keystone pipeline and railway safety, before inviting him back to Fargo when weather is warmer.
What I wonder is, what would Kealy have asked if this was a personal interview—for her own benefit, one that was un-televised? I’d argue she may have questioned his character, gleaned insight about his family life, or enjoyed a cup of coffee in silence. We may never know, but perhaps we should ask ourselves, what would I say with six minutes with the president?
Here’s the five questions I’d ask:
What’s your biggest pet peeve? While I get irritated with the misuse of turn signals, excessive selfies, and hair balls stuck to shower walls, I’m sure the President has more important issues to tend to. What pet peeves make him tick?
Who claims your worst break up and how did you recover from it? Everyone has experienced a bad breakup. I take that back; there is the exception of a celibate few. How were his different? As President, I can only imagine the luxury of waking up in the morning, looking in the mirror, and laughing, saying to myself, “Look at me now. I’m gettin’ papers.” I just need his confirmation.
Which parts of life would you do differently? (No bullshit.) Need I explain more?
Where do you find the most solitude? Many of us work two jobs, juggle sports, work, and athletics, our children’s practices and games, and so on. Then there’s the President. What if every decision you made could be life altering? I’d like to know how he keeps his sanity. For some, there’s Zanex. What is it for Mr. O?
“I break rules: I’ve bent the law a time or two. There. I said it. Cat’s out of the bag. What’s your worst habit, your weakness, or your point of comfort, Mr. President?” (Think: closet smoking, illegal drugs, a pacifier… who knows?)
If you could chose any other profession—non-political related—what would it be? When we grew up, we all had a dream of what we wanted to be. For me, it was between being a professional dirt bike rider and an artist. (I get it, quite the stretch). If his goal was President, well then, whoop dee doo, check. But what would he have done instead? Save lives as a firefighter? Run a Michael Jackson memorial dance club? Be a stay at home dad tending to laundry? Obama, enlighten us.
Regardless of our beliefs or political stance, I think it’s important to remember our president is human (like most of us), struggling to stir this melting pot without causing it to boil. We might wonder, how could he veto that bill, sign that amendment, or promise those actions? He might say, “Work with me people. I’m trying my best to satisfy everyone, regardless of our melting pot of beliefs.”