From time to time, President Obama has used his office simply to host some of the people he admires. In 2011, the longtime Chicagoan invited the Super Bowl-winning 1985 Chicago Bears to finally make the traditional White House appearance (theirs had been canceled during the Reagan era because of the Challenger space shuttle explosion), and now, with his tenure in the White House nearing its end, he’s invited one of the people he’s long expressed admiration for to join him: The Wire creator David Simon.
In a video released via the White House’s official YouTube channel, Obama basically sits down with Simon to interview him about the drug war and The Wire. It’s an interesting conversation, where Simon seems mostly interested in using his 12 minutes with the leader of the free world to urge him to end the war on drugs however possible, and Obama takes time out of it to talk about how much he loves Omar.
There are some interesting tidbits for Wire fans here, too: Simon tells the story of Donnie Andrews (“I never thought I’d be saying his name in the White House,” Simon says), the real-life inspiration for Omar, and Obama enthuses about the way the show humanized both drug dealers and police involved in the struggle, and gushes about how moved he was by season four of the show. It’s a fascinating look at how a work of art–especially one as effective and affecting as The Wire–can have real-world implications on the issues with which they engage.