President Obama Opens Up The White House To Sway Calloway

MTV News correspondent gives his first-person account of interviewing the president for 'Ask Obama Live.'

President Obama might have been in the hot seat at the White House on Friday (October 26), but it was MTV News’ Sway Calloway who had the jitters during MTV’s “Ask Obama Live: An Interview With the President.”

But it wasn’t Sway’s first time with Barack Obama: The MTV News correspondent sat down with the then-presidential candidate in November 2008, and the discussion even touched on some of today’s topics of conversation, including worries about student loans, gay marriage and inner-city violence. And in 2010, Sway and President Obama spoke about “don’t ask, don’t tell” in “A Conversation With President Obama.”

So what did Obama have to say about marriage equality? Check it out!

But this time, with Election Day fast approaching, there was a sense of urgency and, as Obama was so aptly asked, a need for a “game-changing idea.”

So did Friday’s discussion feel like a reunion with an old friend, a nerve-racking job interview or something in between? We’ll let Sway break it down in his own words:

I’ll be honest with you: I’ve done interviews for quite a long time, but I was actually really nervous, so I think that was the mood in the room initially. We were all nervous about this. It’s a big moment right now — it’s a big moment in American history — and anytime you have a president that’s willing to address young Americans’ issues, that’s a good thing.

But once he walked into the room, everybody seemed to relax. He was very personable, we had a chance to talk about his schedule, and then we jumped right into it.

[Obama] said, “Hey, man, how are you doing?” and that was the first thing he greeted me with. It was kind of like how any everyday citizen would greet you … but he was really interested in answering these questions.

You know, I wish we had a chance to answer more. I’m glad we had a chance to address Raul’s question [about youth unemployment], and I’m sure if he had more time, he could get into more specifics with all of the questions.

But he was in a good spirit and he’s really energetic right now, and it’s great to be around a president like that. … How often you get the chance to sit down with the president? So I consider us all to be extremely lucky, and hopefully we’ll be able to sit down with Governor Romney as well and give him the same opportunity to address issues that young Americans are most concerned about.

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