As the city prepares to welcome President Barack Obama on Tuesday evening, there is one man close to him who no doubt offered some advice on places he may want to visit.
"We're just a couple of weeks away. There's a lot of excitement at the Earnest household here in the Washington, DC area, but also the Earnest household in Kansas City as well," said the new White House press secretary and Kansas City native Josh Earnest.
He's talking about his first child that he and his wife are expecting soon.
Earnest graduated from Barstow in 1993.
"This exact position is something I could never have foreseen. I wasn't really into politics in junior high and high school. My parents took me to the voting booth when they voted," he said when asked if he could have ever foreseen ending up as the White House press secretary back in high school.
Earnest said it takes a lot to handle the kind of intense questioning he faces on a daily basis.
"It is a tremendous challenge…and it's something that inspires me every day. The hours are long. Yeah it means you're going to be subjected to criticism sometimes, but these are principles that are closely held and they go to the values that I learned as a kid in Kansas City," he said.
Earnest is not accompanying the president on his July trip to Kansas City, but said he did suggest his colleagues try to stop by the Country Club Plaza, Jack Stack for barbecue and Winstead's for a chocolate malt.
Earnest's former calculus teacher at Barstow said you could tell even 20 years ago that Earnest had characteristics that would help him in his current job.
"You can tell he had people skills, he attracted people, he got along well with them. Combination of intellectual capabilities, you can tell he was going to go on to a successful area," William Frank said. "He is the type of student who would go on to be successful, there is no doubt about that."
Frank said Earnest also excelled in basketball and baseball. He said Earnest is the most noteworthy student he's been associated with as a teacher.
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