Kicking off the NBC4 11 o'clock news last night, veteran Washington, D.C. anchor Jim Vance touted an exclusive interview he had earlier that day with President Barack Obama.
Vance then aired an excerpt of the interview, comprised of two softball questions. Afterwards, he informed viewers they could find the full interview at the station's website, nbcwashington.com.
Unfortunately, the rest of the interview was just as disappointing. As you'll see, Vance practically portrayed Obama as needlessly inconvenienced by pesky Republicans on the debt ceiling issue and the economy at large.
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Vance did ask Obama what he would do, if anything, to help D.C. voters secure voting representation in the U.S. Congress. Given how much of a pet issue that is with District voters, particularly liberal Democratic ones, it's interesting that that question and its follow-up were not included in last night's broadcast.
Below you'll find Vance's questions to the president (emphases mine) in the order in which they were asked:
- Mr. President, you are in a titanic struggle with Eric Cantor and others over the debt ceiling, but just a couple of miles from here, are thousands of people, a lot of them black men, who are in another struggle: for their lives, for dignity, don't have a job, can't find a job, don't have skill sets to even get one and keep one if they could. What do you tell those people with regard to what you're going through with your struggle, about their struggle and why they should be hopeful?
- You mention Washington and one of the things that I have to take advantage of with this opportunity, even with the half a million people here, those who may have a job, what we don't have is what most of this country takes for granted. We don't have a vote. What can you tell those half a million people that would make them feel better about being Americans in a democracy where they can't vote?
- When you get done with Karzai and Cantor and others, will you be able to be our public champion on that regard, do you think?
- I gotta ask you one more question. You're a Chicago guy. Have you found it in any way, can you call Washington at least maybe your part-time home now? I mean, you've been here a couple of years. Are you in the groove?
- There's some people that asked me to ask this question. You have a Congress that has proudly proclaimed the posture of "just say no." You have haters out there unconscionable in their expressions. You have two wars. You have crazy people with their fingers on bomb weapons and others who are trying to get them. It's assumed that you want to run again but the question is: Why would you want to put up with that for four more years, that and more?
- The upside's way better than the downside?