Friday, March 20, 2009
This week FLEW by for me! I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend.
Now...as I'm sure you've all probably heard by now, President Obama was on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno last night. He was his usual charismatic, witty, charming self. He was at ease, yet answered the serious questions with earnest. He was comfortable and light, yet intelligent and forthcoming about the serious issues we face. Everything was going easy breezy...until...
I had gotten wind of his gaffe well before the Tonight Show aired at 11:35pm EST. The 11pm News on NBC teased it. This is what Keith Olbermann said on his program before the broadcast.
I already knew what President Obama was going to say, so my intent last night was to watch to see how it was said and what the audience's reaction was going to be. When it aired, I thought, "hmmm, not as bad as I thought it was going to be." The audience was laughing already, so most of them probably missed what he said. But the media being what it is picked up on it, zeroed in on it and ran with it. "Uh oh," is all I thought. Facebook was alive with status updates saying, "he's going to pay for that one." And everyone was right.
While the fallout isn't nearly as bad as I thought it'd be, he's going to hear about it for a while. I'm sure they had his apology half way written before he got up from Jay's comfy little chair. You could almost see on his face that he realized what he said right after he said it. I'm watching The View as I type to see what they have to say about it. So far, nothing.
Well, while I agree that you shouldn't use The Special Olympics as a punchline, I think we need to give him a break. He made a bad joke that perhaps didn't go over well, and I while I can see why some would take offense, it was hardly said with any malicious intent. While I think the President possesses a natural wit, maybe he just tried too hard to be funny in this instance.
Everyone knows how much I love Barack Obama. My crush on him continues. But if I had to think of one thing that I'd wish he'd do as President, it would be to have a more intimidating presence during some of these interviews. I'm not necessarily saying that's the demeanor he should have when he's on a show like Leno, but when he was being interviewed by Matt Lauer on The Today Show, I couldn't help but feel that Matt Lauer was a bit too lax for someone who is talking to the President of the United States. Matt Lauer is usually kinda smug anyway, and I understand he may be a little bit older than President Obama; but it wouldn't kill him to talk to him like he's the leader of the free world, not like he's just some "dude." I love that Barack Obama is "the people's President," but instead of trying to get everyone to like him, I would love to see him...just ONCE...say "Look, I'm the President, this is what I want, this is how it's going to be, and that's that. No back talk!"
I know he'd never do that though. The reason why is because our President is just too intelligent. He expects that if he speaks to people with reason and logic, that they'll understand and respond favorably. He feels that he shouldn't have to yell or get mad in order to be heard, because that would just be barbaric instead of smart. Too bad the people he has to deal with hate him so much, and want him to fail so badly, that reason and logic escape them. They'd rather focus on how he's going on Leno instead of dealing with the economic crisis, not realizing that he can multi-task and that the crisis can't and won't be solved within the hour he spent on television. It's absurd, but it's the government we have and the people we put there.
Hopefully we'll let the President get back to the job at hand instead of making him appear at every future Special Olympics event to prove he's not a meanie. We all know that he is a good guy who just wants to help us do better. It's not the first mistake he'll make, nor will it be the last. We just have to get out of his way, allow him to be human, and give the man time to be the great President he will be.
Have a great weekend!