What Would You Ask Barack Obama?

[ Posted Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008 – 16:58 UTC ]

I had a dream last night, but it didn't really end well. I dreamed I got unprecedented access to Barack Obama and his family, and got to go home with them for an evening in order to do an extended interview. But it turned into a "went to school without my pants" nightmare, because I couldn't think of a single thing to ask them.

I know, I know, this is the nature of dreams: to expose unconscious fears (like of not being prepared). But it still left me awfully annoyed when I awoke -- to have such a golden opportunity, and then to blow it!

Of course, once I really woke up all kinds of questions occurred to me which I would love to ask Barack Obama in a casual setting. But, of course, by then it was too late.

So I open up it up to the field instead: if you could ask Barack Obama one question, what would it be? I would especially like to hear the response of anyone who has not made up their mind yet on Obama -- in other words, what would close the deal for you?


[I apologize for such a short and hastily-prepared offering today, but I've been hard at work putting together tomorrow's column, and it took more time than I expected. Again, my apologies.]


-- Chris Weigant


6 Comments on “What Would You Ask Barack Obama?”

  1. [1] 
    fstanley wrote:

    Here is my dream question:

    What to you really think about everything? Lets forget the politics of it all and tell me what actions you would like to take if you become President. What direction you would take the US and the world? Where do you see the world in 4/8 years if you have two terms?


  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I don’t know if I’m sold or not on the junior senator from Illinois (sorry, couldn’t resist - I’m not that strong) kind of depends on who he asks to be his Vice President...with...ahem...Special Portfolio on Iraq.

    It’s not too late for you, CW - you can ask him anything you want at the convention...before it moves over to the...cough, stadium.

    Here’s what I’d like to ask Senator Obama...with just a couple of follow-ups:

    Throughout the campaign, you have characterized a vote for the October 2002 resolution authorizing the use of US military force in Iraq (AUMF) as a de facto “vote for war” which you have used to portray yourself as being against the war from the beginning while your Democratic presidential opponents who were in the Senate at the time voted for it. You, and your surrogates (I hate that term), have also used this to demonstrate your bona fides in having superior judgement on Iraq in an effort to bolster your foreign policy prowess.

    Why do you believe that a vote for this resolution was the equivalent of a vote for the war President Bush initiated in Iraq?

    Can you explain what the rationale was behind Senator Biden’s vote in favor of the AUMF which he characterizes now - as he did on the Senate floor just before the vote - as a “march to peace” and a concerted effort to avoid war?

    If you believe that a vote for the AUMF was indeed a vote for war, then could you explain the reason for the events that took place - after that vote and before the invasion - in an effort to force Saddam to comply with certain UN resolutions which he had been in violation of since the end of the Gulf War...especially those events with respect to what happened within the UN Security Council during this time? In other words, if a vote for the AUMF was a vote for war, then why all of the effort to avoid war by the US, and its allies, in the five months or so leading up to the invasion?

    Senator Obama’s answers to these questions would tell me all I need to know about whether or not I could support him.

    Of course, if he simply answers by saying that he intends to ask Joe Biden to be his running mate...with aforementioned special status, then I wouldn’t care about the answers to the questions I asked...not one whit! Because, for one, I’d be far too busy bouncing off any nearby walls!

  3. [3] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Stan and Elizabeth -

    But what did you think of the charts? Oh, wait, that was yesterday! :-)

    Both your questions were excellent, I thought. I also hate the term "surrogates" as it sounds a little too Brave-New-World-ish (the book, not the phrase) to me.

    It was a really weird dream, I have to admit... there I was just hanging out in the living room with the family and the kids, and the kids had more intelligent things to say than I did...

    Anyway, interview coming up tomorrow, stay tuned.


  4. [4] 
    soithoni wrote:

    I think the question I would ask is the one we all would ask, face to face with the Senator. "How do we get out of this mess we're in? What do we do first? What then?" The answer will take weeks, probably, and I'd be on the edge of my seat each moment he answered.

  5. [5] 
    BLaws wrote:

    Thought about this one a couple days now...

    Senator Obama, imagine it's November 5th, 2008. You've just won the election and the Democrats now have 60(+1) seats in the Congress. Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid have just called you and said "President Obama, we would like to get to work on passing three major pieces of legislation of your choice, and have them on your desk to sign into law by your 100th day in office. Just tell us which ones you feel are most important to get done."

    What three bills would you choose?

  6. [6] 
    BLaws wrote:


    Meant... " 60(+1) seats in the Senate and a majority in the House."

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