The White House wanted unusual, viral moments — and Thursday's presidential interview with three YouTube stars provided plenty of them.
President Obama sat down with three bloggers who have garnered millions of followers on the video website Thursday for his first comprehensive interview following the State of the Union.
The result was at times comical, awkward and bizarre — but certainly a departure from a normal presidential interview.
Some of the most memorable moments came as Obama was chatting with GloZell Green, a Los Angeles comedian known for stunts like the "cinnamon challenge" and eating cereal out of a bath tub of milk that she was currently bathing in.
Green certainly raised eyebrows when pressing Obama over his Cuba policy, saying that Fidel Castro "puts the d--k in dictatorship."
The president took the question in stride, launching into his routine explanation of why he felt it was necessary to change policies toward Cuba that had prove ineffective in diminishing the power of the Castros.
And Green said she had cut the hoods off of the sweatshirts of her husband, who is black, to protect him from being shot by the "po-po."
Obama again responded somberly, saying it was necessary "to remind ourselves that the overwhelming majority of police officers are doing a really good job," but that additional training could help root out biases displayed by law enforcement.
The president did crack a grin when the entertainer, known for wearing green lipstick, wrapped up the interview by presenting a gift of three tubes for the president's family, including one for "your first wife."
"My first wife?" Obama said. "Do you know something I don't know?"
A clearly mortified Green repeatedly apologized and said she meant to refer to the first lady.
In a session with 19-year-old fashion adviser Bethany Mota, Obama was asked what television shows he watched (SportsCenter) and what he wanted to be when he grew up (an architect).
Quizzed on what super power he wished he had, Obama said that "the flying thing seems pretty cool."
He went on to explain that "the invisibility thing seems a little sneaky to me," but then revealed his "nerdy" wish of being able to speak any foreign language.
"I would love, like, anybody I met anywhere in the world I'd be able to just talk," Obama said.
Press secretary Josh Earnest cast the interviews as part of the White House's digital outreach effort surrounding the speech. The White House used its social media channels to build anticipation for the address, and offered an annotated live stream where viewers could learn more information about some of the president's plans.
"It simply is an effort to engage as many Americans as possible in a variety of venues," Earnest said Thursday.
Obama echoed that sentiment shortly after posing for a selfie with Mota, Green and Hank Green, the third of the video bloggers.
The president said "more and more there are audiences that get turned off by the traditional news shows or the traditional debates" and that he hoped the videos would give the entertainers' fans "a sense of what we do" in Washington.