As a reporter you usually ask questions of a politician that are related to politics. Economic stuff, foreign policy, etc. But when a politician does something that comes out of left field, it is often imperative that you ask the question the public wants answered first.
I worked for a station years ago that ran a promo saying, "We ask the questions you want answered."
Examples of questions that fall into this category:
To Arnold Schwarzenegger: "Seriously, you're married to Maria Shriver...and you're having an affair with the maid?"
To John Edwards: "Let me get this straight... your wife is dying and you're having an affair... and you expect people to vote for you?"
Which brings us to the CBS Sunday morning show with Bob Schieffer. Having met the guy, I can tell you he really seems to be a regular person. And if you missed this week's show, you missed him turning into a regular guy while interviewing Newt Gingrich.
Yes, if a guy is running for President we want to know where he stands on the economy and foreign affairs... but we also want to know how a guy who says he can balance the budget can run up a half million dollar tab at a jewelry store. Regardless of your political affiliation, it's a juicy tidbit that viewers want answered. ("Are you that generous with your wife? Is she high maintenance? Or is this one of those Tiger-Woods-I'm-sorry-gifts-because-I-did-something-bad type of deals?")
Anyway, if you haven't seen this interchange, you need to watch it because it is a classic example of a regular guy asking a regular guy question in the middle of a serious interview. In between the talk of job growth and Israel are two guys in the den talking about a jewelry bill.
Viewers want their reporters and anchors to be regular people. If you act too high and mighty, you're not perceived as warm and approachable. But if you act like a regular person when the situation calls for it, you can score points with the viewers.