Checking Facebook a few days ago, the familiar face of former President George W. Bush in a blue shirt -- his Facebook profile photo -- popped up with the words, "Opportunity to interview President George W. Bush."
Vaguely curious but thinking the title referred to mainstream journalists, I scanned the first sentence. "President Bush will invite one Facebook fan to Dallas for an in-person interview about his upcoming memoir, Decision Points, which hits the shelves on November 9, 2010."
What? There was an opportunity for anyone reading this, including me, to interview GWB? My excitement grew as I quickly read the remaining details and realized I had to leave five questions in the comments section. Out of those, 100 questioners would be chosen as finalists, and they would submit a two-minute video to be judged and voted on by Facebook fans. The winner would then be flown to Dallas to interview President Bush about his book, and receive a personalized signed copy of Decision Points.
"Oh, boy!" I thought to myself. This would be my chance! I would love to interview someone I admired while in office, someone whose leadership during a time of war was inspiring and humbling, someone I still respected for the class he brought to the highest office of the land.
Then I read the fine details, the rules and regulations. I also realized almost 2,500 people had already left questions hoping for the opportunity to win this contest.
The eligibility part was what concerned me the most. It read:
1) Contest open only to legal residents of U.S. ... check.
2) Must be at least 18 or age of majority for your state ... check. Definitely no problem there!
3) This was the one that could disqualify me. "Employees of the Office of George W. Bush and its affiliate companies and suppliers, as well as the immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings and children) and household members of each such employee are not eligible."
Hmm. My sister was an employee of Governor and then President George W. Bush and I was her sibling. I re-read the rule and wondered if that meant all who had worked for him, or just those currently on his payroll.
That, however, did not stop me from coming up with five questions that I would like to ask of the former President of the United States. You'd probably like to know what they are but I'm not sharing ... at least, not yet. I'm still working on that "eligibility" rule.
Irregardless, this contest offers a wonderful opportunity to any Tom, Dick, or Harry (or Susan, Mary, Brenda) to sit down with GWB in a one-of-a-kind interview. If given the opportunity, I would end the interview with my most grateful thanks to this President for keeping terrorism away from our shores in the frightening days following 9/11.
With over 7,000 "likes" already on the page, some commenters are not asking questions but, instead, are leaving remarks for the President such as the one that said, "If given the opportunity would you run for the presidency again and straighten this country out?"
Then there was the gentleman who wrote, " I would love the opportunity to break bread with a great president! Keep smiling, Mr President ... you did a fabulous job."
Another commenter added humor to his comment, "I'm ready for the trip, can we get in some fishing or hunting time?" One lady left five "thank yous" instead of five questions.
There are detractors, too, but most have followed the rules, and many have very interesting and in-depth questions such as, "Who, besides Mrs. Bush, was your most loyal and trusted confidant during your presidency?" Another asked, "How have you changed as a person after being President?"
How in the world will they decide on finalists with so many good questions?
If you're interested in entering the contest, go to George W. Bush's Facebook page and read the entire list of rules. Better hurry because the contest ends on October 21, 2010. If you're so moved, leave your five questions and, who knows? You may be the lucky winner chosen to fly to Dallas as thousands of other Facebook fans look on in envy as you sit down with George W. Bush and talk about his memoirs, "Decision Points."