President Barack Obama: The Scene Interview



Hardball, Scene style.
  • Hardball, Scene style.

This week, Channel 5 anchor Leon Bibb flew off to Washington D.C. for an interview with President Obama, the second local news personality to score facetime with POTUS in the last six weeks.

Since other Cleveland media outlets are landing interviews with the president, we officially submitted our own request for a fireside chat in the Green Room. It turns out sitting down with the Leader of the Free World isn’t as easy as making public records requests with the city of Cleveland*, and the White House was none too keen on letting alt-weekly provocateurs inside the hallowed halls of big government**. With the Scene sit-down with President Obama a fading long shot, we thought we’d pop open our notebook and let you see the hard-hitting slice of journalistic inquiry we were ready to dish at the Commander-in-Chief.

After a little light banter [“You think the Heat, huh? Well, no lie I was more of an Edwards guy in ’08,” “Denver, now that was cool?”] we launch into the meat:

“Mr. President, we’ll start off with the standard opener Cleveland reporters ask when talking to politicians: Who installed your roof, and do you have receipts?

“We know how you feel about Mayor Frank Johnson, but tell us what you really think of Senator Steven Brown?

“Here’s an easy one. You’re locked in a room with John Kasich, LeBron James, and Muammar Gaddafi. You have a baseball bat — who gets brained first?”

“Free association. Tell me what comes to mind when I say the next five words: Lebron James, Osama Bin Laden.”

“Dennis Kucinich: Great congressman, or greatest congressman? Or wait — is it Secret Option C: great wingman?”

“So with the 2012 election coming down the pipe, Clevelanders want to know: What’s in it for us? No no, excuse me, sir. We’re not talking job growth or NASA Glenn projects. Back home, if we vote for you, we usually expect at least a flat screen TV or ice maker. Tiki huts have also been big recently.”

With additional reporting from Vince Grzegorek

* Eh, that’s actually a tough call.

** There was also the question of minor criminal records.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.