Continuing tradition, President Barack Obama will be interviewed prior to Sunday's Super Bowl. Set to air at 4:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, CBS evening news anchor Scott Pelley will have the opportunity to spend time with the President. It will be Pelley's first opportunity to speak with Obama.
The pre-Super Bowl interview is an opportunity for the President to reach a large number of Americans who may be non-traditional news watchers. In each of the last two years, the interview has drawn almost 17 million viewers. The 10- or 15-minute conversation covers current affairs and the state of the nation, but there's also usually some levity as the President typically gives his opinions on the upcoming game and is even known to talk about Justin Bieber.
If you're hoping for a football-heavy discussion, this probably isn't the format for you. While Obama will be asked "at least one question about football", according to Pelley, this will be skewed toward current events. The tone will be very different to last year's interview, in which President Obama used the platform to outline the achievements the nation had made under this first term as he began lobbying for a second. With the issue of re-election off the table, it will likely be a less pointed discussion in which the President can focus less on an end-goal, and more on the news of the day. It's safe to say Obama will broach the topic of gun control, which has been a heavy focus of his administration early in 2013.
Since arriving in office, President Obama has given an interview prior to every Super Bowl. With CBS airing the interview in 2013, it marks the third network in three years to have the opportunity to interview the president. Last year, Matt Lauer of the Today Show had the honors, and in 2011, Bill O'Reilly of Fox News handled the duty.
It remains to be seen if President Obama will offer a Super Bowl prediction this year. In speaking to Lauer in 2012, he declined from giving a true prediction, instead deciding to laud both team's strong points, showing a knowledge of the New York Giants' vaunted defense and praising the New England Patriots' high-powered offense. This has become par for the course from the President, who was last willing to offer a prediction in 2010, when he believed the Indianapolis Colts would beat the New Orleans Saints. In the past, he has been willing to give public prediction of sporting events, including his yearly March Madness bracket, as the President shows his affinity for college basketball. We will see on Sunday if Obama is willing to buck his recent trend, and put his choice out there for all the world to cheer or jeer.
The President's interview for the nation is a rare time on Super Bowl Sunday where the mood turns from celebration to overall seriousness. There are moments of humor, but the goal is to reach as many people as possible, and give them at least a passing understanding of the issues with the nation, even if they don't normally follow current events.
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