When asked about the role President Obama would be playing in the presidential election, he profoundly responded, “to remind the American people that this is a serious job. You know, this is not reality TV.” Of course Obama didn’t make it sound like a serious job considering he made these remarks on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, of all places.
Obama is certainly no stranger to television. As TIME magazine’s Daniel D’Addario gushed:
It’s hard to believe that Barack Obama was the first sitting president to appear on a late-night talk show, if only because, over the course of his presidency, he’s made such appearances, as well as ones on daytime TV and even on web series and podcasts, seem practically commonplace. No president has ever been quite so omnipresent—or, perhaps, so present both to older Ellen viewers and to younger Between Two Ferns viewers—in order to convey his message.
I know – it’s hard to think of a president actually going on comedy and daytime shows as if he were some Hollywood celebrity – but this IS Obama we are talking about, the president of “coolness.”
Obama then took part in the news “slow jam” – a featured bit on the show where a guest talks to the audience about the news of the day with a romantic R&B ambience playing in the background.
But remember - this isn’t reality television! Obama discussed the attempt to confirm Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court and took shots at the Republican Party and Donald Trump, however, D’Addario’s adoration of Obama continued:
It was enough to make TV viewers of any political affiliation wistful, solely for the fact that the current President is very gifted at using the media both to entertain and to carry across his ideas. That The Tonight Show, the airiest of the three major late-night offerings, could feature a discussion of Merrick Garland shows the manner in which Obama changed the landscape—one that’ll likely revert back to the historical norm once he’s out of office.
D’Addorio then compared Obama’s willingness to go on television to the “lack of aptitude on Trump’s and Clinton’s parts likely indicate that our next president will appear on late night less than did Obama—which is a loss of sorts.”
Umm…no it’s not. The United States needs a president who is working, not chatting it up on daytime television or cracking jokes on nighttime comedy shows. He then writes that the “audience has been well-served by Obama, even if he did have to swallow a bit of his pride to slow-jam the news. Then again, rewatching it on YouTube—it works because, in his last months in office, he looks like he’s having fun.”
What pride did he have to swallow? He boasted about his record and had Fallow gushed over him as if he were a national aphrodisiac. And if D’Addario thinks the president of cool is having some fun during the last few months of being in office, he may want to take a look at America the past seven years.