Thursday, May 8, 2008

Brian Williams' Complete Interview with Barack Obama

Brian Williams' 23-minute interview today with Barack Obama follows. Some six minutes were aired on the NBC Nightly News. But, as Williams said, the full interview was too long for the Nightly News (which is 30 minutes, including commercials). So the entire interview was made available on - with an easy way to embed it on any blog, such as this one. That, in itself, is something laudable about this interview. Its mode of presentation serves as a good example of the way traditional media such as broadcast television and new media such as the web can work together to assist democracy.

I thought the best thing about the interview itself was Obama's relaxed, engaging, Presidential style. Asked about Joe Scarborough's advice that Obama should just come right out and say he was President of the Harvard Law Review and he was proud of it, Obama said he'd be happy to interview Scarborough for a press job in his administration. Williams countered that Scarborough was a Republican. Obama replied that he is always open to taking advice from Republicans - and he said all of this with a big smile.

As I've said before, I like that Obama is reminiscent of JFK. Because it says that here is someone who has a comfort with himself, is able to joke under pressure. For some reason, this goes hand-in-hand with inspiring, effective leadership.

The best more serious part of the interview was Obama's clear explanation of where we need to look for longterm relief for gas prices, and his gracious, sensible response to Williams' question about Hillary Clinton as a possible Vice President. She would make a good President, he replied, and therefore would of course make a good Vice President.

I know all the reasons why that may not happen, but I'm still of the opinion that would be the best possible Democratic ticket.

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