"I like taking something that’s kind of silly but actually kind of matters, because people respond to things like that," said Mo Rocca about the types of stories he likes to cover as a journalist after his presentation on this year’s election race on Wednesday, Feb. 6.
Students got a taste of what "Mo knows" at the McKay Events Center. The TV personality, reporter, author and comedian, covered the map – literally and metaphorically – during his comedic presentation about not only upcoming elections but a variety of topics on which he was well-versed.
Rocca based his presentation on slides that fell under his "expert guide on how to look and sound like an expert," which he expertly demonstrated during the course of the evening as he gave expert accounts of himself, the current presidential candidates, past presidents, and a variety of questions from the audience, which mostly consisted of his forte – naming the capitols of foreign countries.
In covering the current presidential race, Rocca thoroughly discussed not only the primary candidates on either side of the ballot, but he also discussed what he called the "also rans."
This group included the likes of Dennis Kucinich, Joe Biden and Fred Thompson.
His opinions on the elections came out a little in the question and answer session following his initial presentation. He declared he would cast his vote for Ruben Studdard of American Idol fame. He commented that Romney reminded him of Transformers, "Mitt Romney, pro-choice in disguise." Out of all the candidates, he would least want to get in a fight with Hillary Clinton. And most importantly, on the issue of a national health care system, he said, "I think we should all be given Flintstone vitamins for free."
But his true opinions blossomed after the show was over.
Rocca talked about his fascination with the current Democratic race, saying, "If Hillary were to beat Obama, it would be the most un-Hollywood ending. That’s not supposed to happen – like if you’re watching movies like Hoosiers or Rudy, what’s supposed to happen is Obama’s supposed to beat Hillary now … because his story is so great."
Once the show was all said and done, Rocca set up shop out in the hall of the Events Center where his book All The President’s Pets was for sell. He spent time signing copies of the book, as well as chatting with students and community members about a variety of different topics.
Following his visit to Utah, which he mentioned was spurred by "a real hankering for locusts," Rocca was set to head back up to New York, where he would be working on stories for NPR, telling his quirky stories about the little things that really interest people.
"I like being able to tell stories that hopefully are humorous and interesting in their own right, that don’t rely on kind of making fun of the conventions of news stories."