In addition to the softball interview CBS's Harry Smith conducted with President Obama on Thursday, the Early Show co-host also played some one-on-one with the commander in chief on the White House basketball court, declaring on Friday's show: "it's not just talk, there's a little action too, as we bring in Clark Kellogg of CBS Sports to check out the President's basketball skills." [Audio available here]
In honor of Good Friday, at the top of show, Smith used some religious language to describe where the game took place: "This is the sanctum sanctorum....I'm not sure anybody has ever really been down there with cameras before." Meanwhile, co-host Maggie Rodriguez pretended that Smith actually conducted a hard interview: "you ask him all the tough questions...Does he then proceed to take it out on you on the basketball court?"
At one point in the game, Smith jokingly asked the President: "the question is – that everybody wants to know, can you go to your right?" Obama replied: "I can go to my right, but I prefer my left." Smith laughed gleefully in response. Rodriguez remarked that it was Obama's "comfort zone."
While teasing the basketball portion of the interview, Smith described Kellogg's basketball credentials: "an All-American and a first round draft choice and scored 51 points in a game...when he was at Ohio State." Rodriguez added: "So he probably did okay against the President." Smith wondered: "who would you be more intimidated by?" She replied: "Well, if it's the White House court with those special balls and the motto everywhere, probably the President." Rodriguez later remarked that the basketball court served as the President's place "to unwind after all that criticism."
Smith touted: "we started playing a game of PIG, P-I-G, it turned into a game of POTUS, President of the United States." He later added: "once he got warmed up...I excused myself from the court. Because Clark [Kellogg] – Clark and the President, they really-" Rodriguez interjected: "That's a match-up, yeah." Smith went on to promote when the game would air on CBS: "Saturday, during the NCAA coverage of the Final Four, you're going to see the Clark, President, mano-a-mano...they end up having a really fun game...I mean we're talking high drama."