For out of all of the people waiting on Pennsylvania Avenue one week ago today for the 57th Presidential Inauguration, hoping for just a glimpse of the newly re-inaugurated President of the United States, Al Roker was the one who yelled after Mr. Obama and asked about the weather.
I couldn't help but smile while watching it, and hearing the rest of the Today Show cast giggling into their mics at the fact that it was even happening filled my heart with joy and was a big slice of humble pie... that yes, even Today Show anchors get interviews they never dreamed of or planned on.
To me, that moment gave every aspiring journalist and meteorologist a glimmer of hope. And a large slice of insight.
When I covered the President's visit to the BankUnited Center on the University of Miami campus, I submitted my request for media credentials like many other local journalists and networks did, and I waited for a response. It came, and I sent it to everyone I know, with something resembling the fact that not only was I going to be in the same room as the POTUS, but I'd be filming it for use on our very own evening newscast! I was working on deadline, and it was awesome.
When Al Roker got the "interview," as Brian Williams calls it, with President Obama I realized that someone requested media credentials for him to stand exactly where he stood, too. And someone got a confirmation email, and Al Roker probably told his family about it at the dinner table that night. And I'm sure his kids thought it was pretty cool. In a way, I guess I realized that Today Show anchors are just like us. The POTUS is a big freaking deal to them, too.
I still have my "White House Press Pool" press pass from that day, and I probably will forever. Not only was it my first press pass, but it was from the White House. The White House! To see the President!
And though I can't say for sure, I have a feeling when Al Roker actually caught President Obama's attention and exchanged words with him, he had similar thoughts. "That's the president!!" ... "From the White House!!"
I liked it. Because it doesn't matter who you voted for, and it doesn't matter what you believe. This is the President of the United States. (Isn't that what inaugurations are really all about anyway?) And something a Today Show anchor did made the entire country look, and not so long after, he was trending on Twitter.
And if that wasn't enough, after a year full of shootings, debates, crime scenes, accidents and natural disasters, Joe Biden did something that made me forget about the laundry list above. The actual Vice President of the United States broke format and shook Al Roker's hand. It unified America, and for a short minute, the news personality made the news.
And while all of the Secret Service had a momentary freak out, it was great television. ( <-- See it here!)
And you can't beat that.
You heard it here first,