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Patrick Gavin’s Quest to Earn an Interview with the President – Through 500 Video Shorts
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Patrick Gavin wants to interview President Obama

Summary: Patrick Gavin is on a campaign to interview the most powerful lawyer in the world – President Barack Obama.

88 days ago, Gavin pledged to make 500 videos for the last 500 days of Obama’s presidency, in hopes that he would garner a meeting with the President. I reached out to Gavin months ago, when he first started his campaign, for an interview.


“Will you be in DC any time?” he asked.

I told him I’d be down visiting my family for Thanksgiving. He requested that we put the interview off until then, so he could make a video of it.

“I have 500 videos to make,” he said. “I could use the material.”

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I agreed, and here is the final cut of the video Gavin made of our interaction.

I met up with Gavin on Day 80, the day before Thanksgiving, in Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. Gavin carved out some time for me before heading to the White House to watch the President pardon two turkeys.

It’s a pretty funny video from the start.

Gavin approached me, catching me off guard, and I jumped. Then I spotted a Golden Retriever across the circle.

“Can we go pet that dog?” I asked. Very kindly, he agreed – getting our interview off to a highly professional start, on my end.

My first gaffe was asking him if he worked at Politico – which he had left about a year ago to do his own independent filmmaking. He and I discussed a mutual friend. He had recently done a video about a woman in front of the White House who talked about how she loved “Sagittarius Season,” so we discussed our horoscopes – he’s a Pisces, I’m a Capricorn. I even managed to get in a few law-related questions.

“There are a lot of lawyers in this town. Do you have any close lawyer friends?”

The answer was, pretty much, no.

“My brother-in-law’s a lawyer. But I don’t know crap about the law.”

I asked him his impression of lawyers, in general.

“They’re smart,” he said. “They have to know so much.”

But, for the most part, we got along really well, and chit chatted the whole time. So, it wasn’t a super legal conversation.

I asked him how it felt 80 videos in.

“It depends what day you asked me. I just did an interview with a former White House correspondent who gave me a very rosy outlook on how I might be able to get an interview, but then I get very dour outlooks, too.”

“By day 80, I basically know the formula. The formula is basically that you have to have a huge audience the White House wants to reach. That’s kind of all it is. And over the next 420 days, I’ll either try to develop that audience, or just try to further prove that thesis. It’s going to be kind of difficult to fill the next 420 days when you already know the answer.”

Gavin isn’t particularly optimistic about his odds of getting a million followers, but he hopes that his commitment to the videos – his follow-through, the fact that he really will complete 500 videos – will impress the White House enough that they’ll give him a chance.

He made a few videos with his two daughters.

“I don’t want to appeal to the lowest common denominator,” he said, but I told him he shouldn’t hesitate to take advantage of his assets. Make those cute kid videos. Engage his cats.

“Use what you’ve got, you know?” I said.

He agreed, although maybe just to please me.

A highly likable guy (although he insisted that he was unlikable), Gavin is articulate and smart. The President and his office would be well advised to allow Gavin his interview, as Obama goes out of office. And lay readers should check him out on Twitter, @pwgavin,  subscribe to his videos on Youtube (his name is pwgavin there, too), and help him achieve his goal! Best of luck, Patrick, from JD Journal.

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