The Corner

‘The Dick in Dictatorship:’ Obama’s YouTube Interviews Were About as Awkward as You’d Expect

You probably won’t be shocked to learn there weren’t any major policy announcements or tough follow-up questions aired during Thursday evening’s live interviews of President Obama by three “YouTube stars.” But, since the White House chose this venue as the best way for the president to follow up on his State of the Union Address, here we are.

Obama sat down with Hank Green, GloZell Green (no relation), and Bethany Mota, all YouTube performers with millions of followers. While their questions were generally interesting enough, they didn’t seem to have the chops to follow up on the president’s incomplete, inconsistent, or half-hearted responses. (Which was probably the point.)

But the awkward moments came fast and thick — especially from Ms. Green, who grew up in Florida and wanted to know how Obama justified dealing with Cuba’s Castro. “The guy puts dick in dictatorship!” she said. At another point, she handed Obama green lipstick for his “first wife” — ohh, she meant the First Lady! So embarrassing and certainly not staged.

Ms. Green, full of nerdy nervousness, admitted she didn’t know much about politics, drawing a condescending explanation from the president. And, of course, she asked Obama what his favorite super power would be. (He picked flying or speaking any language. Invisibility is too “sneaky.”)

Sure, it was uncomfortable and entirely beneath the office. But for a live event with a high potential for awkwardness, you could argue Obama did pretty well. He took what could’ve been an absolute disaster and made it something, well – well, just kind of weird.


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