I watched President Obama on The View this morning as he made history for being the first sitting president to appear on a daytime talk show. I know there was lots of banter and criticism from different pundits and politicians—Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania (and a fellow Democrat) went so far as to compare the president going on The View to the president appearing on Jerry Springer. I disagree. The president—or really any politician appearing on The View, which I have been a guest host on, with its mostly female audience—is politically savvy, and gives him an opportunity to reach viewers he wouldn’t through the White House press corps or the Sunday news programs. He will get a lot of coverage by doing this.
Here’s where things get hazy, however. Once again it was all smoke and mirrors, not surprising for a president known for his poetic use of language. I found the president’s appearance pretty predictable and his answers very rehearsed. I mean, how many times can he talk about how he has Jay-Z on his iPod? This was something emphasized at great length during the election to prove how hip he was. (He has also since had Jay-Z and his wife Beyonce as guests at the White House.)
In other words, I think you will react to President Obama’s appearance on The View depending on how you already feel about him. If you are a fan and haven’t had your opinions changed very much by his last 20 months in office, then he was witty; cute when talking about his daughters; and poignant when discussing race issues in America, and why he doesn’t identify as biracial.
It was just pretty much the same as I always get from President Obama. Our president is charming and knows what to say to sound appealing, but for some reason this is still a man I—and many Americans—continue not to find particularly genuine. I found myself zoning out a few times during the interview, and concentrating more on Sherri Shepherd’s cute outfit and hair than what the “thorn and rose” of his administration was so far. Did the president change a lot of people’s minds by appearing on The View? Probably not. For his supporters it is a reminder of all the things they like about him, for his detractors, it was once again another predictable interview.
We live in scary times during which unemployment continues to rise, we just surpassed day 100 of the worst oil spill in history, and, this week, the largest leak of classified information in American history was released about the war in Afghanistan. I don’t care what the president currently has downloaded on his iPod.
And from everything I have read so far, the biggest news wave to come from his interview is that he may have faked knowing who Snooki from Jersey Shore is.
Meghan McCain is a columnist for The Daily Beast. Originally from Phoenix, she graduated from Columbia University in 2007. She is a New York Times bestselling children's author, previously wrote for Newsweek magazine, and created the Web site mccainblogette.com. Her new book, Dirty Sexy, Politics, will be published in August.