David Remnick is the author of The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama. From his 2010 Q & A with Mary Ann Gwinn for The Seattle Times:
Q. Do you remember the first time you heard about Obama?--Marshal Zeringue
A. I do. Around the office, somebody mentioned that there was a guy with a funny name, running for the Senate, and we were looking for election stories to do that weren't presidential elections. The more I heard about him from the writer, Bill Finnegan, the more it became obvious that it would be a great piece [titled "The Candidate," it ran in The New Yorker in May 2004].
And there was even mention of him running for president [then]. I became completely incredulous. I lost a bet with my editor, Dorothy Wickenden. She said, "I think this guy could be president." I thought, there was no way in the world. Hillary Clinton was running; a guy named Barack Hussein Obama in a post 9/11 world?
Q. What are the special problems and challenges of writing about a sitting president?
A. Some of them are obvious. To write a history of a president who's...[read on]