Sunday, October 11, 2009
I went to a Newseum-sponsored event with Charlie Gibson (journalist/news anchor) interviewing David Axelrod (Obama administration). The interview was interesting, but I did not come away with the feeling that I had received anything more than what I would have gotten from a television interview. In other words, I wasn't really sure the interview was the worth the set-up of Wolfgang Puck catering, all-you-can-drink booze and a performance by some American Idol contestant.
A few interesting comments:
Axelrod said that Obama had already been thinking about the race speech he gave after the Reverend Wright issue blew up before they faced any sort of racial conflicts. Obama had wanted to give the speech before and had already prepared ideas, knowing that race was going to be an issue in the race eventually. I thought that was interesting because the speech was so important to their race and it was so relevant to the Wright issue. The fact that Obama had the foresight to prepare the speech before any indication that there would be a race-based controversy highlights his willingness to address touchy issues without being pressure to.
Axelrod noted that the passing of Kennedy also signalled the end of an era where opposing parties debated but still held affection for each other personally. He sees personal relations today as much more contentious and influenced by the politics surrounding them. This was something I had noticed before in movies about older Washington DC politics and had wondered if there was anyone around who was still like that. I have hope for my generation, because I feel like each generation develops certain traits that are counter to the previous generation. I think the willingness to reach across party lines will be one of these traits, along with an increase in social, environmental and humanitarian activism.
And the highlight of the night:
I went up a shook hands with Charlie Gibson and said, "Thanks. That was great." I hope my handshake was impressively firm...I'm such a dork, I'm more into some news anchor than a pop culture singer.