“Mr. President, let’s move on to the next question,” is not something you hear that often in Washington, especially not on friendly panel discussions. But Osman Yahya is not your typical presidential interviewer; he’s a sixth-grader.
President Obama sat down with a group of students Thursday to talk about a new initiative to get more kids to read, but the Maryland middle schooler stole the show with a brisk demeanor and pointed questions. His decision to cut off one of Obama’s characteristically long-winded answers won plaudits on social media.
When a student asked Obama to explain how he gets writer’s block, Yahya asked him to first explain what writer’s block is. When a second-grade class asked the president whether he enjoyed reading, Yahya pointed out that the president had already answered that question and moved along to the next question. When the president began to wax poetic about his love for reading, Osman stopped him. “I think you’ve sort of covered everything about that question,” said Yahya, a student at Bennett Middle School in Salisbury, Md.
The interview was the highlight of a “virtual field trip” hosted by Discovery Education as a part of their “Of The People” series which gets kids across the country an inside look at how leaders in Washington work and make decisions. The focus of Thursday’s discussion was a White House effort to get more kids access to libraries.
But even Washington reporters had to admit, it was Yahya’s show all the way.