The 11-Year-Old Reporter Who ‘Grilled’ Obama on Education

You might remember 11-year-old Damon Weaver’s name, and face, when he scored an interview with (then VP candidate) Joe Biden during the 2008 campaign. And now, after hitting up Team Obama for eight months, the Palm Beach Country student scored a sit down with the president. Yes, it’s the sort of thing network news teams sell their souls for, and this young man snagged 10 minutes with Obama. And it wasn’t (entirely) the soft-ball-y thing you might expect.

The topic: education. It’s the very issue folks like Weaver face on a daily basis. On Sept. 8, Obama will unveil his grand plans for America’s schools. So what scoop did Weaver score?

[Weaver] first prodded the Commander in Chief to reveal details of his upcoming education reform plans.

Mr. Obama, in typical adult fashion, answered the question by saying that, yes, in fact, he would answer the question, just not right now. The president urged Weaver and the rest of America to tune-in on Sept. 8 for his big announcement in a televised speech.

So Weaver pushed harder, asking the President how schools could improve as national, state and local governments look for ways to slash growing budgets.

Mr. Obama said his administration had increased funding for education, but he said “we’ve also got to improve how the schools are operating.”

“Find the best schools and figure out what it is that they’re doing well, and then try to get other schools that aren’t doing so well to do the same kinds of things,” he told Weaver.

To be sure, none of this is anything Obama wasn’t prepared to share ahead of time. The skilled media manipulator gets to hand out talking points via an 11-year-old, and that’s quite a friendly sounding board. But all this talk about pizza and tater tots has us hungry. BRB.