My Job? I Give Out Questions, Not Answers

President Barack Obama with "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer for an interview broadcast Sunday, September 20, 2009.
White House photo
So the president made the rounds today. He was literally here, there and almost everywhere else.

The Obama-rama set off quite a pre-interview debate - not so much about what he said, or planned to say, but whether he was over-exposing himself.

Frankly, I have no idea. My totally unscientific poll suggests that people who DON'T like him think he is talking too much. Those who DO like him think he isn't.

People kept asking me what I would advise the president. My short answer was, "Speak only to CBS!"

The other part is, no one from the White House ever sought my advice, and why should they?

My job is to show up and ask questions. The president's job is to hold himself accountable to the people who elected him. That means answering questions.

Why would I want to stop him?

It works out better when we both stick to our basic assignments. We ask, he answers.

Do I like the round robin of interviews? Not as much as I like exclusives.

But the president - any president - is the world's number one newsmaker. When he invites me over to ask him questions, I'll be there.

Not to offer advice, but to take notes.

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    Bob Schieffer is a CBS News political contributor and former anchor of "Face The Nation," which he moderated for 24 years before retiring in 2015.