Once upon a time, our presidents had no personality or no sense of humor but were only committed to progress, such as winning World War II, fighting for Civil Rights, ending polio, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and of course establishing the GI Bill—all things this country accomplished in the 20th Century. In 2012, times have changed and likeability helps a lot if you are the president of the United States.
So has been the case for Barack Obama, as he been quite a darling of the talk show circuit, much to the dismay of the Republican Party and conservative media who are unenthusiastically voting for Mitt Romney this November.
President Obama’s most recent appearance on NBC’s “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” which was filmed before an excited group of students at the University Of North Carolina, caused quite a uproar to those who oppose his very title as the commander-in-chief. But it also pleased two million fans who stayed up late with a snack to watch like I did.
The president smoothly slow jammed the news with the equally smooth and hilarious Jimmy Fallon and sat down with the late-night talk show host to talk about life in the White House, the Secret Service, his inevitable opponent Mitt Romney and the important issue of student loans.
“For the first 10 years of our marriage, we were still paying stuff off, even when we were supposed to be saving for Malia and Sasha. We didn’t pay off all of our student loans until about eight years ago,” President Obama said.
The reason for this discussion is a deadline of July 1 when interest rates on student loans will double for nearly seven and half million students who will end up owing more on their loan payments.
So President Obama showed Americans once again that he is the likeable leader, but he’s also proved to be the leader of the people by supporting college students on this fundamental issue that will affect their future if Congress refuses to do the responsible thing.
I also find it very important to point out to those who only want to see President Obama fail and will attack him on anything that a president or any well-known politician making the entertainment circuit is nothing new as history has shown.
That list includes: Richard Nixon appearing on the variety series “Laugh-In” during his 1968 presidential campaign, Bill Clinton playing “Heartbreak Hotel” on his saxophone on “The Arsenio Hall Show” 20 years ago during his campaign for the presidency, Al Sharpton hosting “Saturday Night Live” in 2003 when he ran for president, Sarah Palin doing stand-up on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” in 2010 and many others that you can find just by going on YouTube or searching on Google.
It’s also fair to point out that Fox News praised President George W. Bush with his 2008 appearance on the popular NBC game show “Deal Or No Deal” and I don’t recall “The Inevitable One” Mitt Romney receiving criticism for appearing on “The Late Show With David Letterman” or “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.”
I find any politician who wants to attract the 18-29-year-old voters by going on shows like Jimmy Fallon’s “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” or “The Colbert Report” a smart move because I think that demographic is a lot smarter than they are given credit for, especially with a growing number of independents who are sick of the two-party system.
So my advice to Mitt Romney: Roll the dice and make an appearance on all three shows I just mentioned and while you are at it, agree to host “Saturday Night Live” and make your plea that my generation can relate to you if you are brave enough.
Also, please don’t forget to say thank you when they serve you dessert after the show.