"I might have met the future president"
April 30, 2020
By Ethan Dumper
KidScoop Media Correspondent
I was in Charleston, South Carolina covering the 10th DNC presidential debate for Kid Scoop media. This was my first event. I was nervous but prepared. First, I picked up my press pass. I felt so proud wearing the pass with its cool design. I am 10 years old.
After security, I walked down media row and found my seat in the press room and set up my computer to review my interview questions for the candidates. I interviewed journalists from all over the world and the mayors of Columbia, South Carolina and Washington D.C. I watched the debate from my spot in the spin room. Inside Edition asked me for my thoughts on the debate and I told them how much more I would understand the candidates if they all respected the time limits and didn't talk over each other. Everyone was interested to hear my story as well, it was so cool.
After the debate, the hundreds of journalists crowded around the exits and waited for the candidates. As a reporter, the trick is to try to be heard but not be bossy. Sometimes I called out the candidates names, sometimes I snuck to the front of the crowd, and sometimes I got their press person's attention.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg was about to go on stage when I caught his attention. I was nervecited (combo of nervous and excited) because I had not yet met a candidate. I asked him, "Why should kids like me tell our parents to vote for you?"
He answered: "Great question. You know the younger you are the longer you are going to be affected by decisions that are about to be made. Think about how important it is that the climate is a good one that you can thrive in, how important that the country is in good shape and we are respected around the world. You can share with your parents how important it is for you to have a leader that is thinking about your future."
I made my way through the gaggle of reporters and asked Tom Steyer the same question. He replied: "I will make sure on day one of my presidency that we will stop climate change and make sure we have every kid who is 10 years old live in a safe world. I give you my word. That is why." He also made eye contact with me like talking to me was the only thing he could think about!
I asked Senator Nina Turner, co-chair of the Sanders campaign: "Senator Sanders plans to put a stop to climate change in the next ten years, but what if ten years is not enough time?" She replied that Senator Sanders "has the most robust green new deal of everyone pouring trillions of dollars into trying to save this planet. He also wants to pull in other world leaders because he knows the US can't do it by themselves."
Senator Warren was with CNN so I waited. As soon as she finished the interview she walked up to me! I introduced myself and asked: "As Commander-in Chief, what steps would you take to stop an attack from North Korea?".
She replied "The number one step we would have to take is to make it clear to North Korea that we are not going to help out Kim Jong Un and that we are willing to push back against him... I am willing to stand up to a dictator like that and I think that is what keeps American safer." She was so caring, so gentle and kind, it was hard to believe that the same person who was yelling at people on-stage just two hours ago.
CNN anchors, Erin Burnett and Dana Bash, were twisting over the backs of their chairs to talk to me. I was so surprised because I didn't know who they were but I had just seen them on National television with Elizabeth Warren. A cameraman handed me a huge heavy coin that read "CNN - Capitol Hill Unit '' along with a picture of the capitol. Inside my heart was swelling with a mixture of happiness, amazement, and pride.
One media secretary had commented about how since I was a kid, my questions would not be at the highest standard. After I asked my question, they came back later and seemed impressed. I spent the day as a journalist representing the questions that are important to kids. I had lots of fun and an amazing experience but I was exhausted by the end. Sometimes it was hard to answer questions but I was so happy with how the night had gone. I was amazed and wonderstruck by the whole thing. At the end I thought, I may have met the future president.