Fresh off stepping up his magazine cover game by becoming the first President of the United States to pose for an LGBT publication's cover, Barack Obama is back with an undeniably on-point GQ cover and an accompanying interview with Bill Simmons. "I would've enjoyed campaigning against Trump," Obama reveals during the casual Q & A session. "That would've been fun."
Obama is also quick to admit that, though he does most certainly enjoy Game of Thrones, he's not the best at actually remembering the characters' names. "I remember the characters, so when I watch it, I know exactly what’s going on," Obama tells Simmons. "But if you read a review of the show afterwards and they’re mentioning such and such, the only one I remember is Jon Snow, because I can pronounce Jon Snow."
Though Simmons and Obama cover a good bit of ground in the interview, including a brief aside about Grantland (RIP), the most revealing moments come when the outgoing POTUS is questioned about things like his smoking habit:
"I made a promise that once health care passed, I would never have a cigarette again. And I have not."
Or, you know, aliens:
"I gotta tell you, it’s a little disappointing. People always ask me about Roswell and the aliens and UFOs, and it turns out the stuff going on that’s top secret isn’t nearly as exciting as you expect. In this day and age, it’s not as top secret as you’d think."
Obama also spoke candidly about the current state of race relations in this country, outlining the different between being "Obama the Person" and "President Obama" in times of American crisis:
"The challenge of Ferguson and all issues related to police shootings, race, and the criminal-justice system is that in order to actually get something done, you have to build consensus. Expressing simple outrage without follow-up is often counterproductive. In the case of Ferguson, I’m the attorney general’s boss. If I chime in with a strong opinion about what’s happened, not only do I stand to potentially damage subsequent law-enforcement cases, but immediately you get blowback and backlash that may make people less open to listening. What was different in Charleston was the clarity of what happened—that allowed, I think, everybody to be open to it."
Peep the full interview here.