The art of seduction is not something for everyone. Barack Obama has it (also with Fabio Fazio)

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Watching Barack Obama gives Fabio Fazio a What’s the weather like, to listen to him, to observe how he moves his hands while his smile opens, to light up, you can only think of two things.

The first is that the game of seduction is not for everyone. That art there is a talent, which yes, you can hone, but you must have it. And he, Barack, the forty-fourth President of the United States of America, for two terms, eight years, the “most powerful man on the planet” owns and dominates it. And how.

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Playing with it. With the awareness that has grown over the years, with that way of making the other feel listened to and welcomed. With that language that is always direct, never affected and simple.

The second thing that cannot go unnoticed is that his first and only appearance in an Italian television studio (albeit in connection from Washington) was with What’s the weather like. Almost twenty-year program, born in 2003, returned steadily and with strong ratings on the network where it was born and raised, after a bit of more political than tactical moves, it is the right place for such a meeting. Yesterday morning Fabio Fazio – one who has among others in the list of his interviewees Manuel Macron, Ennio Morricone, Greta Thunberg, Jane Fonda, Glenn Close, gli U2, George Clooney, Madonna, all the Italian presidents of the Council over the years, etc., tweeted excitedly, an emotion that also brought live, “A dream come true: Mr President Barack Obama at Che tempo che fa”.

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It is the Fazio you really like, the one that succeeds in the magic of making the TV still that magic box of the past in which you meet someone who otherwise you would not be so close. The story interview, that confidential chat, which arises from the release of your book (A promised land, published by Garzanti, winner of the 2020 Goodreads Choice Awards as “Best Memoir and Autobiography”) brings Obama close.

Away from the quarrels of Italian politics, when Fazio gets in tune with a character he likes, and that his audience likes so much, he has an edge.

Break the ice by talking about George Clooney and Amal, who would have beaten him in basketball – a way, perhaps to break down that local provincialism and make it felt that the degrees of separation are much less than what the interlocutor probably believes. And then there is immediately the question about Michelle “Did your wife like the book?” The answer is an alpha male, of the real ones «You know Michelle is very critical is one of the reasons why I love her: she always pushes me to do my best. Eventually she said yes, she liked him. But she also asked me why it took me so long to write it, that it took her much less time to write yours… The fact that you bear me is one of the great wonders of my marriage. “

There is then a lunge on democracy, about what it means to manage power “With this book I wanted to make it clear that all leaders are human beings who have to make decisions, but who also make mistakes and must learn from these mistakes … I wanted to give young people the sense that dealing with politics, public life is possible while maintaining integrity the value of doing good for others. But all this is not possible if one does not learn to manage the contradictions, the difficulties that are inevitable. Politics is imperfect like all the things that human beings do, but even in its imperfection one can and must act for the good. I would like to be an inspiration for young people interested in doing something in the world ».

Young are his two daughters, Malia e Sasha, 19 and 22, who “because of the pandemic” he has at home with him and Michelle “I’m sorry for them that they would like to go out, but I’m so happy to have them at dinner every night, finding them much smarter than me”. Also tell when to the White House – “I never got used to the feeling of isolation you breathe, it is clearly a privilege, but it has its costs – small compared to what we could then do, but I had a recurring dream of going out for an espresso or having a walk in a park – »Michelle wanted to change the decor of the girls’ bedrooms:« she wanted them to feel normal, and not that they felt inside a museum ».

The theme of education is central to his story, transversal to the use of the tools we have and the management of democracy «We are drowned in information, we have never seen the unconditional possibility of challenging reality as today. There are some who mistakenly inform in a destructive way (and I’m not just referring to social networks). I believe that due to globalization and technology, people experience great uncertainty and therefore look for too easy answers. It is a time when – if history teaches us anything – violent movements can gain ground. We must not invent facts, manipulate, here is democracy so it becomes difficult. We need to better manage social media and educate children to understand what the truth is. Democracy is not a good that comes from heaven, we must continually renew it. We need to invest in democracy. All of us who believe in a better story of human progress, inclusion, dignity need to work harder and fight».

Even the most powerful man on earth admits he felt frustration “There are external events that you cannot control, even if you are efficient and there are things that break your heart (Syria, epilogue of the Arab Spring). As President, you can’t do everything as you would like, but you can do a lot “.

Sly worries about his hair getting too gray by watching the tribute video. We ask for more Obama style for this television of ours. (Possibly not translated, but subtitled. It is such a shame to lose – also – the accent, the sound of the voice).

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