Barbara Walters Channels Proust in Questions To Obamas. I’m Not ‘Spock-like’ Says Prez

By Chris Ariens 

Friday night, ABC will air a Barbara Walters special with President and Mrs. Obama. During her interviews Walters got personal — but then, when doesn’t she? — as the Obamas approach their 20th wedding anniversary next year.

ABC says Walters’ questions were drawn from the late-nineteenth century Proust Questionnaire, a series of personality questions made famous by French author Marcel Proust. They are regularly asked of celebrities in interviews featured in Vanity Fair. Here’s one:

Walters: What’s the biggest misconception about you?

Pres. Obama: Me being detached, or Spock-like, or very analytical. People who know me know that I am a softie. I mean, stuff can choke me up very easily. The challenge for me is that in this job I think a lot of times the press or how you come off on TV people want you to be very demonstrative in your emotions. And if you’re not sort of showing it in a very theatrical way, then somehow it doesn’t translate over the screen.

Michelle Obama: Someone said that there’s a perception out there that I feel confined or trapped in some way. To the extent that people have that perception, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I feel very blessed in this role.


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