Most of us have heard the question “if you could interview anyone, living or dead, who would it be?” And I’m sure you comedians out there, if asked, would answer “the living one.” (For the love of all things holy, resist.) Since I was a teenager I’ve often thought of what it’d be like to sit down with various noteworthy people, the first one being Keith Moon or some other very loud, deceased person.
While historical figures and entertainers tend to be the most popular picks, I like to think that we socially-engaged righties would more likely pick a current politician, and the more gutsy of us would pick a liberal one. I say gutsy because it’s no small feat to spend an afternoon being lied to by a power-slurping sociopath when you could otherwise be doing something far less unpleasant, like re-caulking an old shower.
Unfortunately, for most of the Democrats I considered, be they lawmakers, judges, or candidates, I really couldn’t think of more than one question I’d want to ask. It didn’t matter whether it was Harry Reid (“When you reached puberty, were your parents concerned about your voice changing to a higher octave?”), Alan Grayson (“Were you taught to act this way or it is some kind of random mutation in your genes?”), or Nancy Pelosi (“Wouldn’t it have saved a lot of tax dollars if you had used your broom instead of all those government jets?”), there could be no dream interview with them.
As luck would have it, Barack Obama is a different story. With him as a subject the words just turboed out of my pen and hit the paper at breakneck speed. Seriously, just as he inspires Chris Matthews to frolic giddily in the meadow and write sonnets, he inspired me to come up with more than enough content for exactly the kind of meaty, hard-hitting chat he craves. A sampling:
“Is there anyone on the White House medical staff trained in the treatment of pathological narcissism?”
“Have you decided on the exact net worth that means someone has ‘earned enough money’ so the American people can plan accordingly?”
“Where does one get a hold of your shade of lipstick?”
“Do you think you would complain less if you were president of a country you liked?”
“Did you pick Biden so you would appear intelligent by comparison?”
“In what way do President Bush’s policies cause you to shoot over par?”
“Just in case you don’t win the next election, shouldn’t you start finding more predecessors and compare yourself favorably to them before time runs out?”
“On exactly which constitution are you supposed to be an expert?”
“When will the Congressional Budget Office release the report detailing the budget savings if Mrs. Obama cuts back on her junkets and shares flights with you?”
“Have the Republicans ever shown you proper gratitude for those occasions you went days without attacking them?”
“How goes the legislation to have pitchers’ mounds in Major League Baseball stadiums moved closer to home plate?”
Of course, knowing the classy, self-effacing fella that is Mr. Obama, it’s easy to picture him providing thoughtful, unscripted responses to my questions free of any stuttering and conflict. (Like I said, it’s a dream interview.) I’d provide more examples, but you get the idea. Now I have to go wait by the phone in case Roger Daltrey returns my calls.