Assignment for Next Week (Post Due by Sunday, Feb. 14)

Hi Everyone,

Thank you for your wonderfully detailed self-introductions and responses to Caroline Hellman’s article “In Defense of the Classroom.” Below, I have posted an interview with Professor Hellman. I also provide additional instructions on next week’s assignment.

For next week, I ask you to think about what makes a good interview. You will soon be conducting an interview of a fellow student soon as your first formal assignment. Please read, watch, and/or listen to the following profile/interview of VP Kamala Harris and Former President Barack Obama (who just published his memoir “A Promised Land.”) After reviewing the linked material, please post a comment about what you liked best or found interesting about the podcast profile of Kamala Harris AND the interview with Barack Obama.

  1. Let’s start with an article over the controversial cover Vogue Magazine used in the issue that featured her interview. Think about how visual imagery matters in the media today.

2. Listen to a podcast of the profile of Kamala Harris (Profile by Alexis Okeowo, Read by On-Line Editor, Chioma Nnadi)

3. Watch this brief clip of Kamala Harris calling Biden upon hearing of their victory over Trump

4. Read this interview in Vanity Fair Interview with Barak Obama on his new memoir

Please post your response by Sunday, Feb. 14.

36 Comments

  1. Ruthie

    I really enjoyed this week’s assignment. So much of what we take away from the interaction of two people through an interview relies so heavily on the interviewer’s tone and choice of words and the way they are phrased, not just the response of the interviewee. It seems that when the job is done right, the best qualities of the interviewee shine through, like Obama’s charisma and Harris’ approachability.

    It was interesting to hear Chioma Nnadi touch on the expectations society has of elected officials. Our expectations can be harsh sometimes and, “politicians are often castigated when they seem too airbrushed, or seduced by the elitism associated with fashion”. Jobs aside, aren’t they regular folks like you and I? I do not really mind the fact that Harris chose to wear her converse and off brand clothing to the shoot. It doesn’t really make her any more or less of a leader, in my opinion. So maybe our priorities as a society are somewhat skewed?

    Question and answer format interviews are my favorite; Jesmyn Ward and former President Barack Obama have a good rapport and it shows. The flow is smooth and the interview was very enjoyable overall. Despite being a former POTUS he is, like Harris, very relatable. Listening to him discuss his book and say, “What I wanted to do for the reader, particularly for young people, is to give them a sense of commonality between their day-to-day choices, decisions, insights, hopes, fears, and what somebody who ends up being the president of the United States is going through” is so refreshing. Again, at the core he is just a person whose yearnings are the same as ours, despite being on a pedestal of authority. And in a way, hearing him say that makes the divide between us seem less, well, divisive for lack of a better word.

    • Mark

      Thoughtful and well-written response Ruth. I really liked your points especially your observation that “an interview relies so heavily on the interviewer’s tone and choice of words and the way they are phrased, not just the response of the interviewee.”

      • Ruthie

        Thank you Professor Noonan!

  2. Leticia Beltran

    Interviews have always been something that i always found nerve wrecking. I remember i had a job interview and i was so nervous because I’m a really shy person. But the interview went so well due to the people that were their, they were very outgoing. They used this method of interview that was mixed with getting to really know me on a personal and professional level.

    Something i liked or found interesting when watching the videos assigned is the different lay outs that can be used during interviews. Some interview are group interviews such as the one i had for a job. In the Obama article , Jesmyn tends to ask Barack obama questions an he answers her back. In the podcast about Kamala harris , i found interesting of how detailed it was and from the point of view of harris. This goes to show the type of ways interviews can take place.

    • Mark

      Very good response Leticia. I especially like your point about the need of the interviewer to put the interviewee at ease.

  3. Farouk

    In today’s fast-paced life, images are just as if not more important than then writing. Images can convey emotion and describe a situation faster than writing. We have been slowly tailored to merely read a couple of words and look at an image. As a result, this comes as no surprise when the vogue cover of madame VP Kamala Harris caused lots of controversies. Few people are willing to read a whole biography about VP Kamala Harris. But more people can just visualize an image and fill in the blanks in their head accurately or not. I don’t see an issue with the Vogue cover. Her choice of footwear does not impede her ability to lead. Although I could see why some people may feel differently. Just like how Friedman wrote in the article “Ms. Harris may be authentic and approachable, but she is also about to become the second most powerful person in the country.” As sad as it may seem VP Harris will continue to be judged over every little thing. She represents the new face of America. And every action she makes will be dissected thoroughly just because she is a first for America. So visual imagery is an essential aspect of media. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

    I enjoyed the podcats Vice President Kamala Harris on the Road Ahead. I was engaging to say the least. In these 26 minutes, I have learned more about VP Kamala Harris than I thought I would. The podcast thoroughly breaks down who Kamala Harris is. Who she is as a Vice President, as a loving mother and wife, and as a Person who faced difficult changes to get to where she is right now. I enjoyed listing on how VP Harris bestowed her time, how she’d wake up early and exercise, what music she listens to, and what kind of food she loves to cook. I feel that is a vital aspect of interviewing. To recognize the “human element” of the person. While an interviewer could have sat down with VP Harris and asked multiple policy questions and gotten the answers. It won’t be as engaging it would feel dull and monotone. So I enjoyed the “Human element” of this interview.
    I found the Barack Obama vanity fair interview very interesting. I admired how he talked about using humor as a reaction to hardship and bleak times. How humor can help us, heal and move forward. I loved the format of the interview; it wasn’t so formal. I felt free and flowing like I was reading a conversation between close friends. Not a pre-planned interview where everything is set up. I loved how the former president shared his struggles and how he overcame them. It helps convey that yes some of us are in hard times right now but we will overcome them. It isn’t permanent. Before reading these articles and listening to the podcast I retained this notion in my head that all interviews had to be super strict and formal. But I was wrong. The interview can be more fun and casual as well.

    • Mark

      Superb points Farouk. You are very eloquent on the power of “the image” in society today and pick out key details from both interviews. Your point about the seeming casual-ness of a good interview is also keenly noted.

  4. Kimberly

    I found this week’s assignment so interesting. Usually, I don’t read interviews I hear them through podcast like the Joe Rogan Podcast. I find his interviewing skills to be really great because it’s a conversation and he gets comfortable with whoever he’s interviewing. I think a good interview needs to run smooth. I also think it should be a little personal because as a listener you want to feel like if you are the ones asking the question and that they are questions with meaning.
    I really enjoyed the interview Jesmyn had with former President Obama because it started out friendly and humorous. It wasn’t too quick into the political side and you get to see the former President as an everyday person. As for the interview with Kamala Harris, I enjoyed that it was from her point of view. The fact that I got to know her and her day to day life, what she likes to do shows her as more than just a Vice President.

    • Mark

      You raise interesting points here Kimberly. I think you touch on the reason for the growing interest in podcasts and the necessary comforting “flow” of a good one. You also make a keen point about getting the interviewee comfortable with a little humor before the more serious stuff. Excellent tactic indeed.

  5. Jozelyn Santos

    The success or failure of an interview, the fact that it is engaging or bleak, centers around the questions that are being asked. Based on these weekly assignments, I feel like the questions that are being asked by the interviewer should be straight-forward yet open ended. Having questions like these will allow the interviewee to answer the question directly, as well a elaborate even more. Allowing the interviewee to elaborate can help the readers or listeners see a glimpse of the person’s personality and perspective clearly. Whether there is a motive or goal behind each interview it is important to take that goal and create questions that surround and relate to that main goal. This offers a build up and keeps the interview interesting for both participants.
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading the interview between Barak Obama and Jesmyn Ward because it felt like a free flowing, friendly conversation. The topic that surrounded the interview is a serious topic, yet there was still humor and honesty throughout. This showed me that an interview can be enjoyable without straying away from the purpose of the interview. As for the podcast about Kamala Harris, it was really interested for me to see how an interview can make you understand a person more, solely based on their responses. Overall, both interviewees has had and have an important political position in our society. People often see politics as a bleak topic that is filled with a type of seriousness that makes one wonder if they can even smile when engaging in politics. Both interviews showed that even at a high position there is still joy and those who hold those positions are just as human as the rest of us.

    • Mark

      Excellent readings of both pieces Jozelyn. I do agree that “The success or failure of an interview ,.. centers around the questions that are being asked.” I also agree that both pieces bring out the humanity of the subjects, beyond mere politics. Nicely stated.

  6. Aminata Kane

    Hello, everyone my name is Aminata. Interviews are a great form of communication to get to know someone. What makes a great interview is when the interviewer does a background information on the interviewee. It’s very important that the interviewer does not cause any discomfort around the interviewee and vise versa. Both interviewer and interviewee need to make a great eye contact, let one person finish their statement or questions and look presentable. Interviews can be nerve wrecking, especially if you don’t know how the questions will be set up. But with confidence from both interviewer and interviewee the setting can go amazing.

    Imagery plays a big role depending on the individual’s career. Oftentimes when it comes to politicians you rarely see them dress carelessly, especially in the public view. Kamala Harris had a Vogue cover shoot, where she was dressed in jeans, a dark jacket and a converse. Many people disliked the cover shoot, because 1) they expect the image to be in high quality since it was taken by Vogue. 2) The backdrop of the curtain looked creased and lastly, 3) a lot of people thought her outfit was going to be more professional and less casual. Like I stated previously, the way we dress plays a huge role depending on the career that we are in. It has a huge factor on how society sees certain groups of people. But in her digit cover of the Vogue shot, she looked very presentable, cleaned her Michael Kors suit and the backdrop was a two tone shade of brown curtain.

    When reading the interview between Jesmyn Ward and Barack Obama, it was very detailed and ongoing. Before the interview began, Vanity Fair gave a setting of the environment of Ward room, when zooming Obama. Jesmyn the interviewer and Obama the interviewee were very humorous with their conversation. Throughout the interview he discussed a little about his family and his 8 year in office as president, The interview was very amazing. What made the interview amazing, was the transitions of conversation to the next. With each topic that they discuss it was never so long. Oftentimes, when it comes to interviews, most interviewers discuss one topic. With this interview they were able to discuss a little bit of everything.

    • Mark

      Aminata,

      You make keen points in your response. I agree with you on the importance imagery plays in forming public opinion of high profile individuals. I also thought your comments on the the use of humor and the fast-moving transitions to be very astute, journalistically speaking.

  7. brittanyfinger

    Brittany Finger
    To have a successful and good interview you need to be well prepared. You need to have the right questions, be able to evaluate the person who you are interviewing and to listen carefully. In my opinion I feel like you need to ask questions that make the person who you are interviewing comfortable. I don’t think their should ever be personal questions or questions asked that make the person not wanting to be there or meaning to be uncomfortable with answering. I also think the interviewer should have a gaol .. what is the purpose this person is here today? Also having different interview strategies to see what works better. That way the interview goes smoothly and is organized.
    In today’s society visual imagery in today’s media matters because for some people it paints a picture. For others it just shows how a woman / man is being represented. In my opinion there were many controversies of Kamala Harris being on the cover of Vogue because she is a woman of color. Today people of color are judge because of the way they look. They didn’t like how she was dressed, but thats the real her and she was just showing what shes all about.However, it just gives hope to others that she’ll change the world for the colored people, and that she already has done. What stood out to me the most was “ Ms. Harris may be authentic and approachable, but she is also about to become the second most powerful person in the country. And right now, the country is in the midst of a crisis and deeply in need of authority and assurance..” this is because without even stepping foot into office Harris already had a huge impact on changing the world. By being the first woman Vice President and even being a woman of color she showed people that its right to fight for what you want. She steps up as a role model for other women of color to chase their dreams and do what they desire and not to live in fear.
    What I liked about Obama’s interview with
    Jesmyn Ward is first it was a question and answer interview. This technique I feel is the best because you get real detailed answers. I feel you get more information and understanding this way. One answer from Obama stood out to me the most which was … “there is still something in this country that says, “We can be better and we can learn to be more inclusive and see each other and expand our definition of ‘We the People.’ ” .. this stood out to me the most because no matter how damaged this country was Obama was determined to make that change for the better. He had hope , he didn’t want the people to give up and he sure was not given up either. Obama did a lot for this country and he showed the definition of what a president should be like. During his years of presidency he worked hard to get the rights people deserved. Being the first president of color he made history. Going back to Kamala’s reaction of Joe Bidden becoming president when she said “ we did it Joe” with excitement it showed the same energy Obama had when he was president. Kamala wants to make that change and make history as well.

    • Mark

      Brittany,
      You do a terrific job here pointing out the importance of an interview having a “specific goal” and then showing how this is accomplished in both pieces. Nicely done!

  8. Germaine

    Interviews is something I find easy or difficult to do, because to do interview to someone that you don’t know like what question can I say to the person so the person can’t feel uncomfortable or the person can’t answer. How can can you make the interview enjoyment and interesting so you can make the person day. Some I found interesting about the podcast profile of Kamala Harris is “She wanted to say something that night to Young Americans would remember I always say this I may be the first to do many things make sure I’m not the last” because she is the first black woman Vice President in this country by that she not going to the last so our hope need to be the same. In the interview of Barak Obama say things that young americans need to read about “It’s because, uniquely among great powers throughout history, we are not only a democracy, but we are a multiracial, multiethnic democracy, and that we have fought battles internally over several centuries now to try to expand the number of people who can sit at the table, who qualify as ‘We the People.”

    • Mark

      You pulled out two terrific quotes here Germaine. Very good response.

      • Germaine

        Thank you professor

  9. Lubna Sharmin

    Social media platforms are everything these days; every little news becomes breaking news through social media like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and many other media platforms. When Kamala Harris chose to wear her converse sneaker, that became a big controversial issue. Still, many people fail to understand that she is a normal human like us and should not be judged on her personal choices.

    I found very interesting about the podcast profile of Kamala Harris. I was unaware of many essential and exciting facts that I got to know about Kamala Harris through the podcast. Usually, I don’t follow or read much news or interviews; but I enjoyed the podcast profile of Kamala Harris. Many people, including myself, didn’t know about her whole biography and the issues she had to face in her life. Listening to how she starts her day with exercise and music and love to cook amazed me; this also showed Kamala Harris is not just a great leader but a happy human being. The Vanity Fair interview with Barak Obama was very smooth and well organized. By listening to him discuss his book shows his joy and belief. Overall, I learned something new from both interviews: political interviews can be joyful and friendly. I think that’s how an interview should be so it can engage all kinds of auditions.

    • Mark

      Excellent reply Lubna. Your point about the specific points the Harris interviewer brings out to flesh out her subject’s humanity (exercise, music, cooking) is spot on.

      • Lubna Sharmin

        Thank you professor Dr. Mark Noonan!

    • Farouk

      hey Lubna! can’t wait to start our project together. you can reach me through email: Faroukfares4@gmail.com. Talk to you soon.

  10. Alejandra Aragón

    Week 2 : Interviews; Kamala Harris, Barack Obama and Vogue.

    What makes a good interview? Listening to the podcast “Vice President Kamala Harris on the Road Ahead”, was very educational. I believe this is very important to those who read or listen to these interviews and are looking to learn more about someone or their perspective. There should always be a purpose behind an interview. As an interviewer it is good to know your interviewee’s background and history. It is very important to know who are interviewing, therefore doing your research before the interview takes place. It is ideal to ask the right questions and converse with the person to keep a flow. Listen to the person. As simple as it sounds, sometimes we may miss a thing or two when talking to someone, therefore listening is very important. As the interviewer it is important to be up to date with any social media (as it is huge right now in our generation), and any industry leader that may be related (in a good way) such as the connection they made with Kamala and the Obama affect.

    As for the Obama interview I feel like there was a nice smooth flow from the get go. (Can this be because they have met before?) Compared to the Kamala Harris interview which was very detailed, Obama’s interview was as well but a bit more laid back. I really enjoyed the humor, the personal stories being shared and its sense of intimacy. I believe this really helps the readers have a sense of imagery. Honestly when I think of interviews, I think of it being very professionally detailed and boring. Listening to Obama’s interview proved me wrong. There are many types of interviews and it can be rather fun to read. I believe this really depends on the interviewer and what type of questions they choose, and obviously the end results will say it all. I enjoyed both interviews very much.

    As for the Vogue Magazine Scandal, image is important especially if you’re the first female vice president. There was a lot of miscommunication as for the vogue cover. I believe the more authentic cover would have been good for inside the magazine but not as the official cover. I believe there was some sort of unfairness towards Kamala from Vogue. As the first female vice president, just how the article stated this vogue cover would be one of the most important and it should be displayed and treated as is rather than settling with a modernized cover.
    The mini clip of Kamala calling Joe was very cute !

    • Mark

      Alejandra,

      You make terrific points in this points especially in what makes an interview successful/entertaining. I also like your line (helpful for the upcoming assignment):
      “As simple as it sounds, sometimes we may miss a thing or two when talking to someone, therefore listening is very important.”

  11. Cristian Cortez

    If being completely honest I never was into interviews that involves with politics I’m more into celebrities’ interviews but dealing with this assignment it was quite interesting. I believe that giving an interview is harder than it seems since you would have to create questions that aren’t to simple but isn’t all over the place or to broad. Having enough equations to make the conversation last a while or having an interesting conversation and keep it running on a smooth pace. I enjoyed listening to the podcast about Kamala Harris since it talks about her point of views on society on how she’s going to help the people of this country. Talking about her life here and there then getting to the serious topic like COVID and witnessing firsthand the protest for George Floyd going into details for to listener to picture in there head. It gives the listener a better understand on what and how Kamala wants and is going to help the people with what’s going on it shows that Kamala understands the situation that’s going on right now and will help us and not let things go unheard. Going on with the Obama Interview I felt it was more relaxed. I would be nervous interviewing the former president but Jesmyn Ward had more of a professional tone with a little bit of humor on the side with Obama also joining in but ha strong tone like he’s getting his point across but not in the point where it looks aggressive.

    • Mark

      Cristian,
      You make excellent points about the importance of an interviewer “asking the right questions” as well as to provide telling details– without getting swamped in them.

  12. Karen K. Navarro

    While listening to the podcast “Vice President Kamala Harris on the Road Ahead,” it’s refreshing for me to know that despite being the second most powerful person in the country, she is still human. Being the V.P comes with all the responsibility and stress but she is still able to be there for her family, even if not in person, she keeps tabs on everyone to ensure they are alright. A technique that I see that is being used here is that the interviewer has been following Ms. Harris throughout her campaign weeks before the actual interview took place. This is good because it can give the interviewer time to develop important and thought provoking questions.

    While reading the interview about Former President, Barack Obama, it was a very professional and interesting interview. I’m not the one to get into politics or talk about political conversation for sometimes it doesn’t really catch my interest. However, it’s also good to catch up with the latest and get all the intel you can get. I’m really into celebrities interviews and technology interviews whether it’s about a new product they released. When it comes to interviews, you have to do a little research about the topic and start brainstorming for questions to ask that specific person. Sometimes being interviewed is a lot of anxiety, brings on some kind of pressure and memorizing your honest answers. Overall, I feel like giving interviews can be fun and a learning experience that can be used outside of college and be useful in a workplace such as getting a position you want in a job interview.

    • Mark

      Very good post Karen. Your points about an interviewer being prepared with the subject’s background and also begin careful to ask thoughtful questions are spot on.

  13. Zahira

    I really enjoyed the assignment for this week, I liked how on the podcast of Kamala Harris, there was real , honest and direct thoughts and emotions. She touched on all points that were necessary to talk about and she included everyone while doing so. Harris is very relatable and talks about how she may be the first to do many things like being the first VP of the United States but she wants to make sure that she is not the last. She touched on certain points like she wants to unify the country and heal it , she makes a great point and proceeds to also say that “American democracy is only as strong as people willing to fight for it.” We need to unite to be able to see change and diversity. Last but not least I really love this part of the interview that I think is important we all know she says, ” All Americans share the same concerns that keep them up at night, anxiety that unite Americans regardless of where they live, the color of their skin and the god they pray to.”

    I enjoy Q & A’s they are relatable and give you a different insight into a persons life like this one by Jasmyn Ward and former president Barack Obama. I liked how in his interview there is a certain flow that makes it quite and really enjoyable. Same as in Kamala Harris interview the is a bit of everything their is humor but also things get real and there are a lot of points being made. One thing that really stuck by me was when Obama said, “What I want to do for the reader, particularly for young people, is to give them a sense on commonality … insight, hopes, fears.” This interview has a lot of insight knowledge that we all needed to know to be able to get a different point of view of what it is like to be in and live a “political” life.

    • Mark

      Very thoughtful response Zahira. I especially like your observation that an interviewer’s job is to keep the discussion “real , honest and direct.”

  14. Erika Gissel Naranjo

    When it comes to interviews without a doubt in my mind I enjoy them a lot , being interviewed or interviewing is simply the best and I am luckily one of those extroverts that feels comfortable in both settings . I loved that you had us view the short clip between Kamala Harris and Joe Biden it’s definitely one of my favorita and just brings a smile to my face ! I feel like they were so pure with their emotions and it really shows on Kamala Harris’s energy.

    I definitely consider myself a people’s person and an interview for me is merely a chance to network and meet new people and I see it as a conversation with an obvious touch of professionalism. On the podcast of Kamala Harris, there was brutal honesty and direct thoughts and emotions. Harris is very relatable and talks about how she may be the first to do many things like being the first VP of the United States but she wants to make sure that she is not the last. I enjoyed Barack Obama’s interview because it was very refreshing and I feel like I got to know more about him on a personal level and he seemed so laid back !

    • Mark

      Excellent response Erika. You’ve reminded me not just the value of a great image/photograph but the power of a brief, emotional video to really bring out a story.

  15. PamC

    A quote from Vanessa Friedman’s article really stood out to me. “Style has always played a complicated part in the public imagination when it comes to our female elected officials, given the history of using dress to undermine women”. This is a powerful statement because of the truth behind it. It is silly to ask an elected official what designer suit they are wearing yet, these are questions that female politicians will be asked in their careers. No matter the irrelevance, female politicians have to deal with the fact that their appearance from outfit to presentation will be judged alongside their professional work. Friedman’s statement that dress has been used to undermine women is incredibly accurate. I recall a scene from Michelle Obama’s documentary, Becoming Her, in which she describes her attire at the beginning of Barack Obamas presidency. She actually tried to keep a professional and serious appearance in terms of her clothes and makeup. She did not want to give anyone a reason to attack her and say that she was too caught up in her own vanity. This worked against her however, and people attacked her looks and wardrobe. In the end, Michelle Obama began to experiment with her wardrobe adding colors and pieces she was interested in along with experimenting with more makeup looks. This actually worked to her advantage as she started having more of a chance to speak her opinions and thoughts. There is an influence that goes alongside a woman’s looks that can only be achieved through a superficial sense. Although Harris has her own impressive qualifications, image will still affect her image and career. It is crucial to use the most powerful images when portraying such a historic figure like the first female vice president because it will be her legacy and it actually improve her standing career wise.
    In the podcast by Alexis Okeowo I listened very carefully. Major points caught my attention because this author was very honest and open in her delivery. There were some questioning about Harris’ policies about police reform that many communities of color also had. I felt a deep understanding with Okeowo because although I have never spoken to them, I felt heard. A lot of people this election voted for the most capable candidate, however there were still some skepticisms on all sides. The interviewer really got into depth with her analysis. I also appreciated that there was the background of Harris mentioned. It gave her the appeal of seeming like a fellow neighbor which can vastly help her image since people want their representatives to be real and accessible.

    • Mark

      Nicely done, Pam.

  16. jawad awada

    Whenever someone is conducting an interview there is no doubt about that there is a high level of stress that comes with it. Depending on the amount of people that are going to be viewing the interview it can definitely be something that either goes pretty smooth or not so much. There is one very important element that makes a good interview and that is someone who can ask good questions. When I say a good question I mean something that can result in a definitive answer or a series of follow up questions as a result of that first question.

    After viewing the podcast regarding Kamala Harris the one thing that stood out to me is how detailed the answers were. Details are very important to the questions that are being asked in an interview because it allows follow up questions along with more information that the listeners want to hear about. Usually a lot of times when someone is being interviewed and does not want to give a direct answer they fade away from the original questions by adding a lot of unnecessary details which is a tactic that makes the questions become forgotten because of all the details that are being thrown out.

  17. Matthew

    What I think makes a good interview is when the interview feels more like a conversation rather than being just a simple plain interview, when I think good interviews I think of a podcast that you would watch on youtube like Logan Paul’s podcast or Joe Rogan and many more; where everyone in the video is in a relaxed state and they are able to just talk about whatever, while still adding important questions that the media wishes to know.

    Something that I found interesting while listening to the podcast of Kamala Harris is that it seemed like Okeowo did not miss any important information or anything that Kamala Harris said. This makes the podcast look credible in a way that it’s very hard to think that Okeowo could be biased or make what is being said seem edited for her benefit. Something that I liked from reading the interview with Barack Obama is how the interview feels more like a conversation between two peers rather than a conversation with a stranger where having conversations about family members might be a little awkward.

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