When the White House wants to get around the cynical national media and take their message more local, they call up local stations and invite them to Washington to sit down with the President.
Problem is, you only get a few minutes and it's all just talking points.
But you go anyway.
Marketplace Reporter Kai Ryssdal wrote a blog post about what happens when you get that call from the President's office.
Ryssdal writes: The White House called yesterday.
I know, right?!
They said if I can be in Washington today by 2 p.m., I can have 15 minutes with the President.
So...we said "Sure." (Duh.)
A funny thing happens when that happens, though.
We gather a brainstorming team, of course, to figure out what we want to get out of the interview and how to frame the questions.
But then the ideas start coming. Everybody's got a thought on what I should ask him – which is great. Catch is, I've only got a finite amount of brain space to process all those ideas.
So the closer the interview gets, the more the stress mounts.
It happened last time we had the President on, too. Exactly this way. More and more ideas, less and less time to process them, until that moment when he and I shook hands as we prepared to sit down.
Then – and this is the only way to describe it – I had a moment of clarity. I knew how the interview was going to go, I knew how his answers were going to go, and I knew exactly how it was going to turn out.
And it did. Just like I thought it would.
All of which is to say – I'll be in Washington today.
Because the White House called.