People: The news business is a competitive one. You need sharp elbows, and can’t be afraid to use whatever leverage you’ve got to get the big story before anyone else. Some days you win. Other days you don’t.
But when you wind up on the losing side of a race for a big story, there’s no shame in tipping your cap to the victor. So it is with considerable humility today that I acknowledge 7-year-old Addison Moore and her classmates in Larry Martin’s 2nd Grade Class at Belinder Elementary who managed to land an interview with President Barack Obama for their class newsletter, The Marvel News.
Congratulations, kids. There’s just no getting around it: You scooped me.
Moore’s father Adam has been a longtime friend of Obama’s press secretary Josh Earnest. So when Obama was in the area last month for a speech in Lawrence, Addison and her family got front row seats and the chance to visit with Earnest. Addison asked Earnest if she could interview him for The Marvel News (now in its 20th year of publication). He agreed, and did her one better: The president might just have time to answer a question for the publication as well, Earnest said.
Addison went back to her class where the 2nd graders brainstormed a series of questions. And on Air Force One during Obama’s subsequent trip to India, the commander in chief opened up to the Marvel News’s query, with Earnest relaying the response:
The Marvel News: What advice do you have for second-graders or other students?
President Obama: Dream big dreams. You are fortunate to live in a country where if you work hard, do the right thing and listen to your parents, you can be anything you want to be.
So there it is. The issue of the Marvel News with the front page interview has been a hot commodity since hitting the hallways of Belinder last week and includes a much lengthier interview with Earnest as well. Here’s a look at the front page: