President Obama should make the most of his "Daily Show" appearance on Wednesday night - charming the pants off Jon Stewart and the crowd, as he did when he showed up there two years ago. It's a terrific show, Stewart is a great interviewer and Obama makes good television.Sorry to interrupt the slobbering, but Obama isn't that charming and not all that likable. If he was his approval rating wouldn't be in the toilet.
Then, the President should cancel all future trivial media appearances. While they may have kept him personally popular, in broad terms they've degraded the Obama brand.
Obama's handlers were supposed to be smarter than this. They were supposed to use his celebrity strategically to advance his agenda. Instead, they've been indiscriminate, carpet-bombing Americans with the man they elected rather than launching communications smart weapons.
The result is that for millions of Americans, the very likable, charming Obama has become a constant tone in the background rather than an occasional, convincing, presidential voice in the foreground - the kind that makes your ears perk up.
Consider all the quasi-entertainment media appearances he's made, most of them frivolous.Ready, fire, aim. It's this smug interpretation of a popular uprising why guys like this will be left scratching his pointy head next Tuesday wondering why all those stupid extremists have overwhelmingly rejected Obama and the Democrats. They just don't get it, and we're fine with that. Keep insulting the public. It doesn't hurt us, it just motivate us more to crush you at the polls and keep a smile on our face while doing it.
He went on ESPN twice to announce his Final Four picks. He went on "The View" (drawing 6.5 million viewers). He had a "Christmas at the White House" special with Oprah Winfrey. He went on Jay Leno - becoming the first sitting President to appear on a late-night show. He was on the cover of Rolling Stone, giving a revealing interview looking back on his first 18 months in office. In December, he'll be going on the Discovery Channel's "MythBusters."
All that's left, apparently, is to be a guest voice on "The Simpsons," though I'm sure that's in the offing. Banksy will animate.
This "Daily Show" appearance makes a second strategic mistake. By chumming it up with Stewart just days before the Rally to Restore Sanity, Obama and Stewart are coopting each other. The President is killing two mockingbirds with one stone.
Without Obama's and Oprah's fingerprints on it, the rally might have looked like a semi-spontaneous uprising by moderate-as-hell Americans sick and tired of the extremists. Now, it'll appear to be a Democratic Party event, through and through - every bit as "Astroturfed" as most of the big Tea Party events.
More on the smugness and arrogance of the left that's just killing them.
The smug condescension in this — we’re losing because voters are panicky and confused — is matched only by its apparent cluelessness. Does Obama really believe that demeaning ordinary Americans is the way to improve his party’s fortunes? Or that his dwindling job approval is due to the public’s weak grip on “facts and science’’ and not, say, to his own divisive and doctrinaire performance as president?A perfect segue to this buffoon.
Perhaps he does. Or perhaps he just says such things when speaking to liberal donors. It was at a San Francisco fundraiser in 2008 that Obama described hard-pressed citizens in the small towns of Pennsylvania as “bitter’’ people who “cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them . . . as a way to explain their frustrations.’’
Obama is far from alone in looking down his nose at the great unwashed. Last month, Senator John Kerry explained that Democrats are facing such headwinds these days because voters are easily swayed dolts: “We have an electorate that doesn’t always pay that much attention to what’s going on, so people are influenced by a simple slogan rather than the facts or the truth.’’
Meanwhile, the rise of the Tea Party movement, one of the most extraordinary waves of civic engagement in modern American politics and a major driver of the 2010 election season, has drawn no end of scorn from Democrats and their cheerleaders in the media.