Obama hasn't seen the new Star Wars movie, believes Donald Trump's presidential campaign might peter out and thinks women should advocate for removing some sales taxes from tampons
Friday's YouTube interview was a way for the White House to reach younger audiences as it promotes Obama's State of the Union address
President Barack Obama hasn’t seen the new Star Wars movie, believes Donald Trump’s presidential campaign might peter out and thinks women should advocate for removing some sales taxes from tampons.
Those were among the revelations in Friday’s YouTube interview, which the White House scheduled as a way to reach younger audiences as it promotes Obama’s State of the Union address.
Here are some highlights:
Obama appears to be holding out hope that Trump’s presidential aspirations flame out.
He said during the interview with Adande Thorne that often, political front-runners are “noisy” or just want attention early on in the process.
“Over time, voters take a careful look,” he said. “The closer you get to actually deciding on a president, everybody gets a little more sober.”
“It’s less entertainment, it’s more serious business. This person’s going to get the nuclear code,” Obama said. “This person’s making a bunch of decisions.”
He compared the Republican primary to the comment section on websites, where people are constantly “trolling” and where they feel like they can vent.
“We can have big arguments,” he said, noting for democracy to work, people need to respect “some basic boundaries where facts are facts” and “we don’t make stuff up.”
Still catching up on pop culture
Despite his parting excuse at December’s end-of-the-year press conference – “OK, everybody, I got to get to ‘Star Wars’ ” – Obama admitted Friday he hasn’t seen the billion-dollar picture yet.
More galling: when Thorne asked for Obama’s favorite Star Wars – “one through six” – Obama chose “number one,” which he said he saw when he was 14. But according to the series’ numbering scheme, Episode One is actually the much-maligned prequel released in 1999.
He did seem familiar enough with the characters. Asked to choose which he’d be, Obama picked Han Solo – “a little bit of a rebel.”
The commander in chief, perhaps reassuringly, also appeared in the dark about the raging online debate over dog pants. But he gamely said that if canines did wear pants, they should cover only the hind legs. Covering everything, he said, would be “a little too conservative.”
“Too much fabric,” he said, sounding somewhat bewildered.
One area where Obama remains keyed-in: pop music. He chose Kendrick Lamar over Drake, saying Lamar’s 2015 album “To Pimp a Butterfly” was the best of the year.
Pads and tampons
It was a question Obama certainly wasn’t expecting: Why do some states impose sales taxes on tampons and maxi pads, as opposed to deeming them “non-luxury necessities?”
In her question, YouTube creator Ingrid Nilsen suggested the items were taxed in 40 states as luxury goods, though in reality, those states are imposing regular sales taxes on feminine hygiene products – a fact many women still decry since the items are necessary.
“I have no idea why states would tax these as luxury items. I suspect it’s because men were ma