Byron Tau and Dylan Byers write at Politico:
President Barack Obama has been taking a lot of questions in the two months since his last press conference or national news interview. He’s just been doing them with ESPN, Entertainment Tonight, People Magazine and FM radio stations around the country, mostly to talk local sports and regional cuisine.
This isn’t a mistake. Even at the height of a campaign in which they’ve been firing hard at Mitt Romney and trying to keep hold of the news cycle, Obama’s reelection staffers are pretty sure most voters aren’t tuning in.The campaign says that the approach enables them to reach nontraditional audiences.
That also lets them avoid the back-and-forth with the national press corps for much lighter outlets. Friday, Obama was behind closed doors at the White House to cap off a week in which Mitt Romney announced his running mate and Obama’s own vice president lit up controversy. But he was on the air: Obama called in to a New Mexico morning radio show to weigh in on “Call Me Maybe,” his favorite work-out songs and his ideal super power (he chose speaking any foreign language, though “the whole flying thing is pretty good”). The exchange ended with one co-host Kiki Garcia giggling, “I just flirted with the President of the United States of America.”The approach also makes life harder for reporters, opposition researchers, and ordinary citizens who just want to know what their president has said. As this blog has noted many times, the White House seldom posts interview transcripts anymore. While major news organizations often post their own transcripts of presidential interviews, smaller papers and broadcast stations usually do not.