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Florida 10-year-old hopes to interview Obama

PAHOKEE — Damon Weaver may be small, but he has big dreams.

The 10-year-old fifth-grader reads announcements each morning at his school, Kathryn E. Cunningham/Canal Point Elementary, and is the lead broadcaster for the in-house KEC TV station. He dreams of becoming a professional journalist, or a football player, an astronaut, maybe even president.

Weaver became an Internet sensation in September when he landed an interview with Vice President-elect Joe Biden during the senator's visit to Palm Beach County. Closing the bit, Weaver quipped: "Senator Biden is now my homeboy."

He now has his sights set on an even bigger prize: an interview with President-elect Barack Obama. Even after being denied media credentials to Obama's inauguration Tuesday, Weaver didn't give up hope.

With about $8,000 in donations, Weaver and his teacher, Brian Zimmerman, KEC TV's news director, headed to Washington on Sunday to catch the inauguration.

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar, has agreed to give Weaver three tickets for the ceremony.

Like any good journalist, Weaver is making a direct pitch: "President-elect, I'm Damon Weaver and I want to interview you. If you want to be my homeboy, please let me interview you."

Weaver, son of a single mom who works two jobs, lives in the small town of Pahokee, plagued with crime and poverty, smack in the middle of South Florida's sugar cane fields.

Asked what his first question for Obama would be, Weaver thinks of home.

"In my town of Pahokee, I have seen a lot of shootings and fights. What are you going to do about violence and to keep me safe?" he said recently.

"I'm very proud of him," said his mother, Regina, who also is going along on the trip. "It's incredible. No words can describe the feeling."

Florida 10-year-old hopes to interview Obama 01/18/09 [Last modified: Sunday, January 18, 2009 9:01pm]
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