Back when Rolling Stone interviewed President Barack Obama in 2010, I had a little fun at the expense of ageless/deathless interviewer Jann Wenner, because his first three questions to the most powerful man on earth were about how awful those damn dirty Republicans are ("When did you realize that the Republicans had abandoned any real effort to work with you," etc.).
Not that this was such a far cry from Wenner's 2008 interview with Obama ("What do you think went wrong with the Bush administration? How did things get so bad in these last eight years? What happened to us?"), but at least that version had a lot of cheerfully pointless talk about Bob Dylan, Jay-Z, and the Dead. We should expect nothing less (or more) from Jann Wenner.
But what about Douglas Brinkley, superstar pop historian and all-around serious man of letters? Surely he would bring the hard-hitting gravitas to Rolling Stone's 2012 interview (which was previously blogged here by Ed Krayewski and Brian Doherty)? Maybe follow up on Obama's 2008 promises to Wenner about ending "the revolving door that's been created between people in government and K Street," or "shifting the paradigm" on the Drug War?
Here are the first five questions that Hunter S. Thompson's literary executor asked a sitting president of the United States on behalf of the sixties' most famous living counterculture magazine:
Let's start with how the campaign has been going. Ever since the first debate, Romney has abruptly shifted his position on a whole host of issues, from his tax plan to financial regulation.
Many observers have commented on how Romney has misrepresented or even changed his positions in this last leg of the campaign – that he's been like a chameleon on plaid. Do you feel that he has lied to the American people?
Where were you when you first saw Romney's speech in Boca Raton about the 47 percent? What was your first reaction?
What has surprised you the most about the Republican campaign this year?
Do you have any fear that Roe v. Wade could be overturned if the Republicans win the presidency and appoint another Supreme Court justice?
A later question begins with the statement, "The auto bailout helped rescue states like Ohio from economic disaster." And though Brinkley didn't have time to get to all that droney, druggy, civil-liberties stuff that Rolling Stone readers would presumably be interested in, he did end on this important note:
Halloween's coming up. If you could have Mitt Romney dress in a costume, what should he be for Halloween?
I don't know a good answer to that, but I do have a costume suggestion for Douglas Brinkley and Rolling Stone: Next time, dress as a journalist.