With Game 6 of the World Series looming, U.S. Sen. Angus King apparently had baseball on his mind as he spoke with Hall-Dale Middle School students today.

Asked by eighth grader Cole Lockhart what he’s doing for Maine, King said the most important thing he can do is help Maine businesses create jobs.

“Trying to make Maine a better place is the whole reason I’m doing this,” King said, speaking to students in a video conference. “You don’t hit too many home runs in this business, but hopefully you hit singles and the occasional double, and in the long run it’ll help build the Maine economy.”

Later, just before King signed off, another student asked who he’d root for in tonight’s World Series game. King said he’d root for the Red Sox, of course, and praised the Sox for playing together as a team and succeeding in spite of having few major stars on the roster.

“Everybody’s contributing in different ways, and I think it’s a good example for us of the importance of teamwork and working together to achieve a result,” King said.

That contrasted with some of King’s descriptions of Congress, particularly regarding the recent shutdown of the federal government. King, an independent, said Democrats and Republicans need to talk to each other, work together and be willing to compromise.

King spent more than 30 minutes talking with the Hall-Dale students. He has video conferenced with students at several high schools since joining the Senate this year.

Social studies teacher Amelia Clukey, who arranged the Skype session, said students brainstormed questions in her class, coming up with about 45 of them, then they selected 25 that would be most relevant based on current events. Students asked about the debate over the federal budget, the federal debt, wind power and health care reform.

Asked why the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, is so controversial, King said one reason is that President Obama’s name is attached to the law, and a lot of people just don’t like Obama.

King said there’s “no excuse” for the failure of the website that’s supposed to allow people to sign up for health insurance through the law, but the ideas behind it are good. King told the students about receiving an early diagnosis and effective treatment for a deadly cancer, melanoma, in his late 20s, thanks to having health insurance because of his job.

“They caught it, I had an operation, and here I am,” King said. “So I know personally the importance of having health insurance. It’s hard to persuade me that it’s OK to have 50 million Americans who don’t have health insurance.”

Eighth grader Cam Corbin reached back to King’s tenure as governor, asking his thoughts on the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, which King’s administration created to provide a laptop for every student in seventh or eighth grade. The Skype session was conducted using the Internet connection and webcam on Clukey’s laptop, provided through the initiative, and shown on a screen at the front of the Hall-Dale auditorium.

King said the initiative has been a success, and he’s glad it got through the Legislature in spite of considerable opposition. King said people who emailed his office about the initiative opposed it 10-to-1, and a legislator told him it was as controversial as “gay marriage, clear-cutting and abortion, all rolled into one.”

After the event, Corbin said he asked the question because the program has had a major impact on him and his classmates.

“I’m glad he stuck with his decision because it’s great for our learning today,” he said.

Susan McMillan — 621-5645[email protected]Twitter: @s_e_mcmillan