Young Fla. journalist Damon Weaver has a new homeboy interviews US President Barack Obama.
The South Florida boy finally landed his coveted interview with Obama, who fielded questions about his basketball skills, education funding, and whether students could have mangos for lunch everyday.
Weaver became an Internet sensation during the 2008 presidential campaign and has long sought an interview with Obama. He even went to Washington for Obama’s inauguration in January, but was unable to get through security lines for the ceremony.
In the interview, which was filmed at the White House and posted on YouTube.com on Thursday night, the 11-year-old asks Obama about bullying, how parents can improve their children’s education, and if the president could make school lunches better.
“I remember when I used to get school lunches, sometimes they didn’t taste so good, I’ve got to admit,” Obama said. “We are actually seeing if we can work to at least make school lunches healthier. Because a lot of school lunches, there’s a lot of french fries, pizzas, tater tots. All kinds of stuff that isn’t a well-balanced meal.”
Weaver then pitched his own plan.
“I suggest that we have french fries and mangos everyday for lunch,” he said.
Weaver, who already has a full scholarship to Albany State University in Georgia, created a buzz last year when he interviewed now-Vice President Joe Biden. Closing the bit, Weaver quipped: “Senator Biden is now my homeboy.”
At the end of his latest interview, Weaver asked Obama if he would also like to be his homeboy.
“Absolutely,” Obama said.
Weaver told Obama he noticed that he gets “bullied a lot,” and asked how the president handled negative comments.
“I think that when you’re president, you’re responsible for a lot of things,” Obama said. “A lot of people are having a tough time and they’re hurting out there. And the main thing I just try to do is stay focused on trying to do a good job, and try to be understanding that sometimes people are going to be mad about things.”
Weaver, son of a single mom, lives in the town of Pahokee, which is about 77 miles northwest of Miami and plagued with crime and poverty. He attends Kathryn E. Cunningham/Canal Point Elementary and is the lead broadcaster for their in-house KEC TV station.
“Unfortunately, a lot of times if you’ve got a community that is lower income, they don’t have as much money in their schools,” Obama told Weaver. “A lot of that is state funding. And I want to see states be more fair in terms of how they give money to various schools around their communities. But, I do think that it’s important to make sure that we can find help from the federal government from here in Washington, D.C., for those schools that need the most help.”
Weaver, who has also interviewed Dwyane Wade, told Obama the star Miami Heat guard had promised to play a one-on-one game with the commander in chief if Obama sat for his questions.
“Would you be willing to play him on a one-on-one basketball game?” Weaver asked.
“I would play Dwyane Wade … I’ve got to admit, though, Dwyane Wade’s a little bit better at basketball than I am,” Obama said.
Obama also told Weaver he used to be able to dunk, but no longer can.
“Well, I got an interview with President Obama,” Weaver said at the end of the online video. “He’s very tall and nice.”