One of the obvious methods of trying to win the presidential election of 2012 on President Barack Obama’s part is to make numerous appearances on popular non-news programs across the television dial while totally avoiding appearing on any news programs.
Very recently, Americans have seen President Obama sit with the likes of the ladies on “The View”, with David Letterman on “The Late Show”, and most recently with Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show”. Yet, when it comes to solid news programs with news and political reporters, correspondents, and analysts, President Obama is out of sight.
While it may appear odd at first, the logic is quite apparent. President Obama doesn’t want to have to answer the “difficult” questions on the economy, jobs, the turmoil related to America in the Middle East, and more. Obviously, he isn’t being asked the tough questions from the likes of Whoopi Goldberg who openly fawns over the president, David Letterman who denies but truly reveals his distaste for Mitt Romney, and Jay Leno who wouldn’t know a “tough” question if it bit him on the chin.
Of course, one should not blame the television celebrities and hosts for not aggressively “going after” the president on the issues and on his record. Their shows are obviously designed to “entertain” and not to obtain headlines via a breaking-news comment from the president. These shows ask questions that, more often than not, allow viewers to get to know the president’s personality, giving Obama a chance to be even more likable than he already is with the public. Naturally, Obama knows this and he’s hoping that likability turns in to badly-needed eleventh-hour votes.
But, serious voters who aren’t voting blindly for the candidate who is apparently the most likable and intend to vote on the issues would rather see the president spending more of his in-front-of-the-camera time with someone who is going to get him to respond to “Benghazigate” rather than set him up to self-promote regarding women’s issues as he was allowed to do with Jay Leno this past week.
The obviously-prepared jokes with Leno about the president growing up in Kenya with Donald Trump not only weren’t all that funny, but it would have been nice to see Jay Leno – or anyone on television – corner Obama about those academic records, college admission papers, and passport documents that Donald Trump “bribed” the president for with the $5 million charitable contribution offer.
Of course, Leno passed up the best line of the night. Leno should have leaned over and, in a conniving way, said to the president: “I bet you’d accept Trump’s offer if he offered to donation that $5 million to your campaign, wouldn’t you?” Now that would have been bold and “great” television. The incredibly “soft” questions from all of the entertaining television hosts are becoming very boringly predictable. And, of course one wonders, while President Obama is “yucking-it-up“ on our television screens over and over again, who’s running the country?
About Scott Paulson
Scott Paulson writes political commentary for Examiner.com and teaches English at a community college in the Chicago area. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.