|Pop culture president|
|Written by Daily Vidette Editorial Board|
|Tuesday, 22 September 2009 09:57|
When Barack Obama was campaigning for president, he was credited with using new media like Facebook and Twitter effectively, reaching the youth audience and being one of the most visible and widely recognizable candidates in history.
Now, as President Obama tries to sell the nation on his health care plan, we see the same tactics being used.
In fact, Obama has overstepped the bounds of typical presidential duty to offer his opinion on everything from the NCAA men’s basketball tournament last March to the Taylor Swift/Kanye West controversy last week (albeit, that was off the record). We are starting to wonder if the president’s actions are beginning to catch up to him.
Obama has even lent his star power to comedian George Lopez for a 30-second promo for Lopez’s show that premieres in November.
“George, you need to change late night. That’s the kind of change I can believe in,” Obama said in the embarrassingly lame spot.
Obama visited David Letterman Monday to tape an interview, which CBS says will be the show’s first by a sitting president. Obama has already appeared on Letterman’s show five times.
Baseball fans will recall Obama sitting down with ESPN’s Stuart Scott discussing the Chicago White Sox. Obama has also discussed his NCAA bracket picks (Obama’s bracket entry for ESPN came in at 903,125th, by the way).
Somewhere between sounding off on Kanye’s actions at the Video Music Awards and recording a commercial for George Lopez (who, ironically, endorsed Obama in the 2008 election), it appears Obama has crossed the line between campaign excitement and presidential duties.
Obama joined five morning talk shows Sunday, speaking on ABC, NBC, CNN, CBS and Univision. The reason for the media blitz is to sell his health care plan, for which support has been waning.
To put it into perspective, Obama has done three times as many television interviews in his first eight months in office as his two most recent predecessors combined.
The Obama Administration has also adorned the front page of the New York Times in 405 stories through mid-August of this year, amounting to almost two miles of news coverage.
But the sheer amount of coverage isn’t necessarily the issue, although the media do seem a bit obsessed.
It seems that instead of the issues Obama champions taking center stage, the man himself has stolen the spotlight. In other words, he has become what people are talking about, not the actual issues.
When Obama was elected in November, most of the world, and at least 53 percent of voting Americans, viewed him as nothing short of a rockstar. It’s no surprise, then, that Obama would try to use his celebrity status to his political advantage.
At some point, though, Obama or his advisors need to say enough is enough and realize the public is getting fed up with the president’s media obsession.
“We’re fighting two wars and facing a serious deficit,” Obama said in an August speech to veterans. Perhaps, then, he should focus on these challenges and less on pop culture.