WATCH: What’s the Dopiest Thing Reporters Yelled to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris During Walk to White House?
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris took the quadrennial post-inauguration walk to the White House, and reporters covered themselves in glory with the regularly-scheduled shouting of questions. Which was the dopiest? You decide.
I say this with love, and as a reporter who has shouted many a dopey question at presidents and others, full in the knowledge that inaugural walk questions are a special subgenre of journalism that’s badly stacked against dignity. You’ve got to kiss any sense of shame goodbye just to get their attention, and then you need to think of something they can answer in 5 seconds. It’s not a recipe for incisiveness.
Having said all that, there’s no reason we can’t all have a good laugh.
First up is the absolute master of the form, NBC’s Al Roker, who just Rokered it, screaming, “Mr. President! Mr. President! Mr. President! Dr. Biden! Mr. President! How does it feel to be president? How does it feel to be president finally?” until Biden was drawn to him like a stray lightsaber to a Sith Lord.
The president jogged over and gave Roker a fist bump, said “You got to keep doing this,” and jogged off without ever explaining how it felt to be president.
Roker would go on to star in many other networks’ coverage, including CBS News, whose correspondent Jericka Duncan blamed her question on a colleague, shouting, “Nora O’Donnell has a question for you. How are you feeling?”
But Biden bypassed her for Roker, drawing uproarious laughter from the studio.
CNN’s Brianna Keilar and Jim Sciutto took turns at the same question, basically. As Biden fist-bumped Roker, Keilar shouted, “Can you unite the president? Can you unite the country, Mr. President?”
Then minutes later, from about a football field away, Sciutto yelled “Mr. President, can you unite the country?”
ABC’s Mary Bruce shouted, “Congratulations Mr. President, how does it feel to finally be president?”, the second time a reporter shaded the president’s previous unsuccessful campaigns with that “finally” modification (first chronologically).
“What comes first, Mr. President?” Bruce added, securing a thumbs up and a “Nice try” from George Stephanopoulos — as they both watched Roker swoop in for all the glory.
MSNBC’s Mike Memoli scored big, first attracting Biden over to the barrier to ask “Mr President, you’ve been aspiring to this office for your whole career [more shade], what does this moment feel like, you’re about to walk to the West Wing?”
“Feels like I’m going home,” Biden said.
Not content with that huge relative W, Memoli called after him, “Do you have a message for President Trump, sir?”
Minutes later, Memoli managed to get a response from Harris by asking, from fifty feet away, “Madam Vice President, what do you see as the first priority now? What do you see as the first priority now?”
With a laugh, Harris replied, without breaking stride, “Just walking to work. Walking to work.”
Keilar and Roker tag-teamed Harris, but a third reporter emerged the victor.
Keilar shouted, “Madame Vice President! Madame Vice President!” to no avail, while Roker shouted, louder, “Madam Vice President, how are you feeling Madam Vice President?”
But another woman in the scrum shouted, “How does it feel to be the first?”
“You know!” VP Harris answered.
All noble efforts, but there an be only one winner, and maybe it’s the hundred other people who were still shouting, “How do you FEEL?” as Biden walked through the White House gates for the first time as President of the United States.
One reporter asked him, above that din, “What’s your message to the world?”
“Unity.” Biden said.
Watch the clips above via all of their networks and C-Span.
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