VÄLJARE | Hur lyckas Obama känna av vad väljarna tänker och tycker när han är ständigt omgärdad av medarbetare och säkerhetsrestriktioner?
Under en valkampanj är det inga problem att möta vanliga väljare. Då förväntas alla kandidater vara ute på gator och torg för att skaka hand och lyssna på människors synpunkter.
Betydligt svårare är det att känna av stämningarna bland folk under resten av mandatperioden.
Melissa Harris-Perry fick några svar under sin intervju för tidskriften Ebony.
It’s interesting, I actively enjoy the campaign season just because it gets me out of here and back with people. And my staff sees it, when I’m on the road and we’re going into a diner or somebody’s living room, and I’m just sucking it up because it takes me back to those times when you don’t feel like you’re talking abstractions, you’re talking about people’s lives and people’s stories. Those conversations around the kitchen table are sustaining. They strengthen me.
So there have been some tricks, over the course of the last three and a half, four years, that I’ve been trying to make up for that absence – the letters that I read every night, the families that we try to bring in here. But it’s not the same when they’re here because people act different when they’re in the Oval Office or the White House. Everybody is all cleaned up, very stiff and they say, “Yes, Mr. President.”
One thing that helps, though, is the fact that Michelle and I are so close to our families, and our families and our best friends are all plain folks. So in some ways, the stories that they bring to us and that we care so deeply about are pretty typical of America. In that sense, I just think we’re much less removed from the life we led on the South Side than maybe a lot of other first families might be. It has only been six or seven years ago since I was still doing the grocery shopping and Michelle was going to Target.
In some ways, I think it used to be easier. Abraham Lincoln used to have office hours; folks would just walk in, petition him for something. Obviously, we live in a different time now.”
Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är Ebony, November 2012.