How Obama Turned the Super Bowl Into America’s Biggest Pulpit

The third episode of the Culture Caucus podcast looks at places where politics cross with sports.

President Barack Obama has started a new tradition: The presidential interview during the Super Bowl pre-game. Two years ago it was Fox's Bill O'Reilly. Last year it was NBC's Savannah Guthrie. This year, it will be CBS's Gayle King. The president is often thought of as a somewhat chilly, remote character, but he always comes alive when he talks about sports: It's the one place he's not afraid to be emotional. And there's no bigger stage in today's culture than the Super Bowl. He's begun a tradition that future presidents surely will carry on.

In the third episode of the Culture Caucus podcast, we look at the power of the Super Bowl: how it has become a national holiday, and how Obama (and other politicians) come alive during interviews in that context in a way they don't with the political press. We also talk about how Obama's sports fandom in many ways is the most human thing about him.

In the second half of our podcast, we talk to NBC's Willie Geist, who digs into the television business, the connection between sports and politics, how he'd conduct a Super Bowl interview, Illinois men's basketball, and more.

It's a good one! You can e-mail us at Come say howdy!


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