Wacky weatherman Al Roker discusses politics, chafing
Written by The Flat Hat|
September 26, 2008
**Flat Hat:** Why did NBC decide to come to Colonial Williamsburg?
**Al Roker:** You can’t help but [draw historic parallels to] the election of 1808 and … today. I mean, in the 1800s they didn’t know for months who the president was and in 2000 we didn’t know officially who the president was for a long time. In 1808, there was a really hotly contested … election. So it’s kind of instructive to be some place like this where you realize history kind of repeats itself.
**Daily Press:** What have the people been like? Have they been receptive?
**AR:** Yeah. I think people like to be on TV with their signs and their hats. Yesterday we were on the campus of the University of Tampa, today we are at Williamsburg but you know you’ve got William and Mary right down the road. I think college students are more engaged in this election cycle than probably in a generation.
**FH:** Speaking of William and Mary, do you think you are going to get a chance to go visit the campus?
**AR:** I am, unfortunately, not. You know we get done here and we are going to Norfolk. I’m going to speak at a charity organization and then I am flying to Detroit for our last remote [broadcast].
**DP:** What charity?
**AR:** Its called “Teens with a Purpose” and it deals with kids, teenagers — keeping them from getting in trouble, AIDS, things like that.
**DP:** What made you decide to speak at that event today?
**AR:** I’m a friend of the founder.
**FH:** Well, [Colonial Williamsburg] has a lot of history and this election is historical in many ways. What do you think it’s going to take to win a battleground state like Virginia?
**AR:** Well, I don’t know. I think that [in] all of these states … the rules are thrown out. I think there are no rules. Places that everybody assumes are either Republican or Democratic, I don’t think anyone can assume anything. I mean these are the traditional battleground states, but I think a lot of states are going to be battleground states.
**FH:** You are visiting Michigan tomorrow. Are you going to be on a university campus again?
**AR:** No, we are going to be in downtown. Although, the place is called Campus Martius, but its not on a campus. So you go to William and Mary? You know, it’s great because how many times do you get to go on an assignment where there is ox and ox poop?
**DP:** Yes, so you are watching your step for sure.
**AR:** Yes, well I used to be in a marching band in high school and we were always behind the mounted police, so…
**DP:** Is this your first time in Virginia?
**AR:** No, I actually used to live in Virginia. I lived in Alexandria from 1976 to 1978.
**FH:** I know a lot of people wanted to know — was it your idea to dress up this morning?
**AR:** No, the producers always think a segment can’t be made better if they dress the talent up in funny costumes. I didn’t put the pants on. I did a special here about 12 years ago, Al Roker’s Colonial Christmas, with the Food Network, and I was wearing the whole outfit. Those pants chafe. So, a lot of chafing. Not pleasant. Not a lot of fun.