Part of good preparation of a presidential candidate for an interview or forum is anticipating off-topic questions, which I define as questions not about politics or governance. Anything personal is off-topic.
That’s not to say such questions are unimportant or without political utility. For example, you can tell a lot about a person by asking them this question: If you’re in a life-or-death situation, which Start Trek captain do you want in charge?
Yes, that’s very silly. And I do not suggest that reporters ask it. But candidates are asked such questions as: What is your favorite movie? And the candidate had better have an answer–one carefully considered and ready to justify.
Hey, I like those movies, too. They are a part of baby boomer culture. Many of us can quote the lines of all the best scenes. That doesn’t make these good choices for answering such a question.
So, am I suggesting that candidates be less than truthful? Should they create a persona specifically for the race, complete with a culturally-approved history?
Yes and no. Candidates should not lie, but it’s naive to suppose that they don’t or shouldn’t create a persona. In other words, his staff should have prepped him long ago about such culture questions so that he could smoothly answer that his favorite movie is ________.