BLOG: Chasing the President out of the starting block

Andy Ouriel
Feb 7, 2012


The likely outcome of any challenge is failure.

But how can someone make himself a better, more well-rounded person without at least trying to conquer a daunting task?

Well, my most demanding task ever was just assigned to me.

And I’m up for it.

I’ve been assigned to land an in-person interview with possibly the most popular person in the entire galaxy.

My editors want me to have a conversation with President Barack Obama.

Just writing that sentence gives me goose bumps.

Regardless of my political stance, it would be an amazing feat to one day say I had a dialogue with a U.S. president.

Today marks the beginning of a year-long Register series called Chasing the President.

Reporter Emil Whitis, my co-host on Five Points with Emil & Andy, has set out on a similar path.  He’s aiming to land an interview with the eventual Republican candidate, likely Mitt Romney.   

Emil and I will nag press secretaries and bug other high-ranking officials in hopes of landing interviews with the two presidential candidates.

I’ve never talked to Obama before, but he did come within a few feet of me one time.

In summer 2009, Obama visited Shaker Heights High School in Cleveland, where he delivered a speech about the economy.

When Air Force One — which could cover an entire football field — landed at Cleveland Hopkins Airport, I waited by the runway with dozens of others to catch a glimpse of the commander in chief.

I was a Bowling Green State University student at the time, covering the event as a reporter for The BG News.

When Obama emerged from the plane, he meandered over and shook hands with a BG News photographer who was with me.

I wanted that handshake and I’m still a little envious of him bypassing my hand.

But now I want more than a handshake.

I want a sit-down and a Q&A session.

I’ve already set forth and asked several people how I can get that all-inclusive interview.

I first called Obama’s re-election campaign in Chicago and spoke to volunteer Kim Thornton, who provided me with the all-important first step in landing the interview.

“Your best bet is to go to the press office,” Thornton said. “I can give you the email. Good luck.”

I then sent an email to Obama’s press secretary to inform his supporters of my venture.

So far, I haven’t secured the interview.

But at least a few people know what I’m attempting to achieve.

Do you have ideas on how Andy Ouriel and Emil Whitis can reach the president and his Republican challenger? Who should they talk to?

Call Ouriel at 419-609-5827 or email him at
Call Whitis at 419-609-5852 or email him at



Firstly, why do you WANT the interview? 

1.What makes what you are writing DIFFERENT from all the other interviewers who are requesting interview time?  (its an election year)

2. What is your circulation? How many people can you reach with what you write??  (its an election year)

3. what slant to this interview do you hope to take?  (his side or opposing)  You better be on his side, or he won't give you the time of day....(its an election year)

4. do you have ANYONE you know inside the white house or a close congressman or congresswoman who can get you in?  ( may want to do a smaller story on them to get the bigger story you are after..)  (Its an election year)

Those are MY suggestions....just thoughts but that is what I would do in your shoes...but the, again, I am a cagy old lady who doesn't know the President.  I just know politicans.....and that it is an election year. 


Good luck with that Andy. Considering the ONLY presidential/vice-presidential candidate to even make an appearance in Sandusky 4 years ago was Sarah Palin, it's doubful you'll get an interview with the President/Democratic Candidate since they know that they already have Erie County in the bag as far as carrying it on election night. Sort of a "why buy the cow ift he milk is free" thing.

Captain Gutz

Just go to Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s house, bang on the door and wait for the professor to come out and attack you. As soon as Obama hears about it, he'll invite you over for a beer.

Truth or Dare

Did I miss something?  What happened to Ron Paul? 


You may be getting
a bit ahead of yourself,
but you go, Gonzo



Maybe you could contact a famous local war hero (Iraq) & see if he could be used to somehow garner support for your desired interview........said individual  was invited & attended CIC Bush's Easter celebration. (Remember your last article about him?)


Pretty sure your only allowed to ask the president certain questions anyways.

1. Whats your favorite color.

2. Hows your dog doing.

3. Did you watch the super bowl.

4. How is your golf game.

5. Anything that doesnt include the economy,Jobs,Foriegn relations, anything that actually might be misconcieved as actually being remotely Presidential job related where he will have to reflect on his tenure at the white house.

6. How bad do you hate those <insert enemy here, Republicans,Banks,Gun toteing bible reading people in the flyover states,ect, ect.ect >

And if you get shivers running down your leg you might get to ask him the bonus question "How do you like being the all powerful Grand pubah of america?"


where is ron paul in this photo he has more of a lead than rick santorm & newt, what a bias corporate media. In the drudge report Ron Paul also has the same rating as obama now to win the elections


Obama by 8 (+) % in '12.




YAHOO NEWS Ron Paul in Minnesota: ‘A strong second place, and it’s going to continue’ Rick Santorum (R) 21,436 45% Ron Paul (R) 13,030 27% Mitt Romney (R) 8,096 17% Newt Gingrich (R) 5,134 11%



Kris.....this post is not what is being asked....

and Ron Paul I am afraid, does not have a chance for the nomination again. 

He just won't have the votes for it at the convention. So sorry.  Perhaps if Santorum or Romney gets the nomination, they may offer him a position such as VP or one on the cabinet, but he doesn't have a chance at the nomination.  He just hasn't got what he needs. 


Ron Paul doesn't have what it needs? Versus the other three? What, with a money launderer/womanizer candidate or a corporate raider/ I've got three silver spoons in my mouth (at least I think that's where they are) candidate or a I have a dis-jointed shoulder from patting myself on the back all the time candidate, I can't understand where the confusion may be coming from as to who has what abilities!


No bias here! Possibly "the most popular person in the entire galaxy?" Seriously?

He's not even the most popular person in the STATE let alone the country, the world, or the galaxy! Here's a helpful hint from someone who was once actually a REAL reporter: You might want to do some background first (like the fact Obama's approval ratings are in the negative range virtually everywhere).

You'll also want to sound a whole lot less like a starstruck charter member of the Obama fan club. Famous people deal with the squealing, "OMG! I can SO not believe I'm TALKING to you!!!" all the time and based on the several I've talked with about it, they are not amused or impressed.

Would I want to interview Barack Obama? Abso-freakin-lutely! Would I talk about how WAAAAaaaay awesome it was just to have gotten close to him once a long time ago? No. There are more important things to consider. Oh, and also, because I'm not 12.


Go a week without watching the MSM and youll see who is the top two, Watch the MSM and they will tell you somthing completly different, Anyone see something wrong with that?

As for interviewing the messia............err president, I would ask him to walk on water or split my tomato soup for kicks, As for any question about the economy or where america is going i'll ask his owners at goldman sach's.

Oh and Zaphod Beeblebrox is the mostest greatest most awesomest person in the galaxy.


Ya if you a tea party person and hang out with tea party people...the President's ratings are low.

Nationally, his ratings are quite high. As usual , right wingers lie and distort the facts. It's called defencive behavior

when a group is scared, they attack!



It's not rocket science. Find someone who knows someone who works for him in DC (probably best) or on the campaign. Explain what you're doing and be as flexible as possible. You will probably have to wait a few months until he's campaigning heavily in battleground states, and then ask your inside person to see what he/she can do. Be persistant. Or camp out at any one of the surely numerous public events he'll be doing in Ohio.


About 11 clock tomorrow came, most of the demonstrators to Zuccotti Park and held a general meeting, the M? Subway stations Butt in the five boroughs to plan. Pl? Tzlich a single protester grabbed a metal barrier from the perimeter of the park and dragged him into the middle of the park. A crowd formed around him and cried: "Whose Park Our Park" until someone took one of the horses and abundant metal GE threw it at the crowd. The police then entered the center of the park to the chaos and Zusammenst? E broke contain several. The order was quickly restored.