… In a city not so far away, I interviewed John McCain.
It was in 1999, the first time Senator McCain ran for President. I was News Director for Peach State Public Radio … which has since become Georgia Public Radio … headquartered in Atlanta. His book “Faith of My Fathers”, had just been published. I knew of Senator McCain, of course, from working several years at C-SPAN. But as you can imagine, it was an honor to interview him. Any journalist would be eager to interview a Presidential candidate. The interview occurred before that year’s Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.
Now believe me, if I’d had a chance to interview Barak Obama or Hillary Clinton, I’d post them here as well. I haven’t had that opportunity, but I’m willing should it present itsself.
So, I’ve had 8 additional years to hone interviewing skills, and in retrospect, I wish I’d asked harder questions.
The interview was ostensibly for a book show, so I spent probably too much time on the book. It was so early in the primary process (two cycles ago, it wasn’t such a mad dash to have an early primary) that there weren’t a lot of real issues to discuss. There was, of course, McCain-Feingold. But the host of the book show really wanted a book interview. I wasn’t about to let him have the half hour with Senator McCain, so I compromised. I really wanted that interview.
The book really was interesting. So were the stories he told. That part of the interview was really pretty good. But when it came to the political stuff, it’s pretty weak, IMHO. And, I wish I could have pronounced “Quinnnipiac”. Listening to the interview this afternoon, I cringed when I heard how I butchered that.
So, offered here without editorial comment, is my 1999 interview with Senator McCain. (Sheesh, now I feel like Terri Gross)