Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Obama's funny video: Is it presidential?

In case you haven't already succumbed to the avalanche of tweets about it - President Barack Obama appeared today on "Between Two Ferns" - a parody of celebrity interview shows hosted by comedian Zach Galifianakis. The "interview" - which appears below - was done two weeks ago. It was posted online today.

Galifianakis, probably most known for his roles in the Hangover movies, has interviewed celebrities such as Charlize Theron and Justin Bieber on the show. (Galifianakis also is the nephew of Nick Galifianakis, a longtime N.C. congressman who gave Sen. Jesse Helms a decent race for the U.S. Senate in 1972.)  Some of the "Between the Ferns" segments are a little off-color, but not this one. It is, however, funny. It's suitable for work. And it gives the president another platform, albeit an odd one, to plug his Affordable Care Act to the young folks he needs to sign up.

But is the video, well, presidential?

New York Times writer Michael Shear isn't sure, noting today that "there appears to be no place that Mr. Obama is unwilling to go" in his search for young people. That includes the Jimmy Fallon show, an interview with Charles Barkley, and even Zillow.com, where the president appeared for an interview about housing. Says Mike McCurry, former press secretary for President Bill Clinton. "We have to worry about the dignity of the presidency."

Clinton, of course, famously answered the "boxers or briefs" question on MTV in 1994.

To be sure, everyone will have his or her own threshold on the dignity question - and that line will likely be influenced by how you feel otherwise about Obama. Those who support the president will appreciate the reminder of how he can be a smart, cool guy. Those who don't might at least laugh when Galifianakis asks if Obama plans to have his presidential library built in Hawaii or "his home country of Kenya."

We think the interview is harmless. Plus, it's doing what Obama hoped - the No. 1 source of referrals right now to HealthCare.gov is the host of Between Two Ferns, FunnyorDie.com.

Enjoy, if you can.

Peter St. Onge


Cornelia said...

And Jerry Orr's letter? Granted, the headline, the CO's preface and Orr's letter taken together made no sense, but, what the hey!

Tvan said...

I'll say this and be done with it...what is "Presidential" today is different from the 80s and 90s. As it was pointed out, Clinton answered the all important question about "boxers or briefs" on MTV during his time, something that wouldn't have been thought about, let alone done, just a few years earlier with Carter, Reagan or Bush. With that said, I think there is a limit to what and where the President should go to. I mean, if you can see the leader from Japan, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Australia, etc... doing the same, then no problem. But at the same time, many people feel that the President of the United States is a position that's ABOVE every other, so the answer would be no.

Personally, I didn't care for it nor all of his appearances on the late night comedy shows. But then again, I have been accused of being old school.

Anonymous said...

Obama has mostly controlled his talking points through speeches and soft media. The Tonight Show, The View, The Charlotte Observer etc...

Wiley Coyote said...

Obamacare is one of the greatest blunders in the history of the United States.

He owns this boondoggle 100%.

Garth Vader said...

During the 2012 campaign almost all of Obama's interviews were with local reporters who were so intimidated about meeting a President that they bumbled and stumbled their way through a bunch of softball questions.

Not so Ben Swann in Cincinnati:


Ettolrahc said...

Why bother to watch it, it is most likely the most wonderful and witty compilation every created since the dawning of time itself.

Why even the great Baird himself could not have reached such heights himself if he have lived to today.

Thank observer we can always depend on you, the democrats and our obama for amusement in this time of such a horrid time brought on by Bush.

annnort said...

Who said the interview got results? If Obama said it, pay no attention. When his lips move, he is lying.