As told to Lindsey Thomas
When we flew down to Greensboro, North Carolina, we knew we’d only have 15 minutes to speak with Senators Barack Obama and Joe Biden. With so little time, I had to make sure that we covered the issues that are most important to you.
First, I wanted to address the presidential debate, specifically Senator John McCain’s attacks on Obama. On Friday night, the Republican nominee frequently said that his rival is naive and doesn’t understand the issues. Obama dismissed the comments as tactics that didn’t hold any weight. In an election year, it can be hard to sort out truth, fiction and perception, but Obama said he feels that American voters can tell the difference.
We also revisited something the Illinois senator and I have in common: a love of hip-hop. You’ve probably already heard that he has Jay-Z on his iPod, and though he admitted that he hasn’t had much time to listen to music lately, he did talk about his respect for the entrepreneurial spirit of hip-hop culture. Rappers today are finding ways to brand themselves and create new companies, and Obama hopes that young people will be inspired to bring that same energy to social causes.
Of course, I couldn’t talk to the Democratic nominee without asking how the bailout would affect young Americans. He said he wants to create an economy that will support their ambitions, one that will create more jobs and make it easier for them to go to college.
I was really excited about this interview. Who knows? This man may be the next president of the United States! Of course, I was also honored to spend time with Senator McCain earlier this year. I’m very fortunate to sit down with world leaders one-on-one and ask the questions I think you want answers to. It’s very different from talking with a movie star or pop artist. I’ve interviewed everyone from Tom Cruise to the Game, and sitting down with Senator Obama, I felt like I was talking to an everyday citizen. It’s definitely a milestone in my career.