Diane Sawyer and Jake Tapper on the challenges of interviewing the President

Political Punch

Interviewing the leader of the free world is not like any other interview. Everything that comes out of his mouth has the potential to make news, change policy, even disrupt the tectonic plates of geopolitics. Just ask ABC's Diane Sawyer. She's interviewed President Obama so many times she can't even count how many - although she estimates it is somewhere between half a dozen and a dozen.

Diane Sawyer and Jake Tapper discussed the challenges of interviewing the President while we were backstage at an Obama speech in Nevada the other day — a stop on the president's 5 state, 3 day tour — just before she conducted her latest interview with him.

Jake Tapper has interviewed President Obama as well and, as ABC's Senior White House correspondent, frequently asks him questions in press conferences. As Jake and Diane discussed, there are specific challenges to this kind to interview. First, you have a limited time. It's not a free flowing conversation. And with that that limited time in mind, you have to be careful to avoid wording your question in a way that might trigger extended, often-heard talking points that eat up so much of your limited time. This is true of any president — not just this one.