After the Townhall meeting Wednesday, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama made his way through the endearing crowd and then whisked his way eastward toward Union where he was to attend an evening barbecue.
Requests for a one-on-one interview of the presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee, at first, were positive. However, as Obama’s scheduled tightened, that request eventually led to a telephone conversation from the senator’s motorcade to the Rolla Daily News.
At 5:17 p.m. Wednesday, the phone rang, and it was Obama’s press agent.
As Obama neared his destination, the reporter answering the telephone was told he would could have five minutes, four questions, at most.
What follows is that dialogue:
Question 1: Sen. Obama, nearly 800 people stood in line for hours Tuesday in Rolla, hoping to get a ticket to see you. What would you tell those people today, if you had the chance?
Obama: I feel terrific that many people turned out for the Chance for Change. However, I am always sorry when venues are not large enough to accommodate everyone who wants to attend. I would tell them to campaign for Change, and we’re working to make America better for everyone.”
Question 2: Speculation is growing on who you will choose for a vice-presidential running mate. Are you any closer to making a decision and has anyone been eliminated?
Obama: You are not going to get an answer from me on this one. When the time is right, we’ll introduce that person, and I’m confident it will be a great choice.
Question 3: Alternative solutions to solve the oil crisis will take years to develop. Doesn’t it make more sense to get on the fast track for oil exploration as the country studies alternative sources?
Obama: We already have many oil leases that are not being used. It will take 10 years to get oil from new leases today. The solution is a comprehensive plan that will study alternative sources as we further develop technology. We cannot drill our way out of this crisis.
Question 4: With the Supreme Court’s recent overturning of the Washington, D.C., handgun ban, isn’t it clearer than ever that Americans are guaranteed the Right to Bear Arms not only in rural America, such as Missouri, but all over America and what is your policy?
Obama: I always have supported the Second Amendment. I think we need to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally disturbed. I believe in lawful gun ownership, that Americans should own guns for their protection or for hunting sport.