City Paper is not for tourists
“Barry from D.C.” called in to WTOP’s Ask the Governor today, where Tim Kaine was taking a final bow as Virginia’s chief exec.
Barry, it turned out, was President Barack Obama, offering his good wishes to Kaine as he leaves office.
Hosting that day was WTOP reporter Mark Segraves, who says he was only informed of the president’s call 10 minutes ahead of when he called in at 10:18 a.m.
To maintain the surprise, Segraves says, “I thought, what I’ll do, I’ll just say we have a caller from D.C. And it was the White House’s idea: no, no, no—-why don’t you say Barry from D.C.?”
Kaine was indeed surprised. Listen:
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Segraves gives the credit for the gubernatorial ambush to Kaine’s press aide, Lynda Tran: “She really made the connection and put it all together.”
The call—and the entire show, quite frankly—-was nothing but good feelings for the outgoing Democrat. But there was a scandal in that phone call—-because it came at 10:18, WTOP had to pre-empt its trademark traffic and weather on the 8’s, delaying it for a couple of minutes.
“It’s probably the first time we’ve ever bumped traffic for anything,” Segraves says.
The interview will re-air this weekend on Segraves’ News Plus show on WDCW-TV.