Earlier today, Barack Obama made an appearance on The View, the all-women gabfest with Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, and somebody else. It’s a wildly left-wing show with Hasselbeck the sole conservative who is overmatched by Walters and overwhelmed by Behar and Goldberg (and probably the other one). Hasselbeck may be on the side of the angels in the political wars, but she’s not what anyone would call a great spokesperson for conservative philosophy…especially since she has a tendency to retreat every time Behar and Goldberg flap their lips at her in that oh-so-condescendingly scornful way. Retreat in the face of liberal shouting points is unfortunately a Republican trait, perhaps, but not a conservative one.
I haven’t seen the show. I’m sure I’ll catch clips of it on the news tonight, but I have no plans to watch the show in its entirety. I already know what’s going to go on.
Obama will emerge from the curtains and warmly greet his hosts who will get all googly-eyed and weak-kneed in his presence. Walters, Goldberg, Behar and the other one will ask a series of softball questions along the lines of “How does it feel to be doing such a great job against those evil Republicans?” These questions will be followed by applause from the audience which Obama will acknowledge with his shy smile (as opposed to his big, toothy grin) and a head nod. Perhaps he will even raise his hand as if to say, “Now, now…let’s not mock the afflicted.” His answer will begin with a light joke that will only be funny to those people who are in his magnificent Presence.
Here’s where it will get interesting for approximately ten seconds. As if to suggest the slight possibility that maybe, just maybe but probably not, the Emperor isn’t wearing anything but a smile, Elizabeth Hasselbeck will ask some sort of a dull-pointed question about jobs or the economy and Obama will pause for a second to pretend that he’s considering the gravity of her question when all he’s really doing is trying to appear like the philosopher king he wants you to think he is. If the other hosts of the show don’t jump all over Hasselbeck, then Obama will respond with 1) a trite acknowledgment that there is still a long way to go; 2) a line that begins with “when we inherited…”, and; 3) a reassurance that things are going to be just peachy real soon. Hasselbeck will immediately retreat.
When the program is over, or when the segment is complete and they bring out the next guest (maybe that guy from the San Diego Zoo who will come on with a lemur and a cheetah, or maybe Rachael Ray will come on to show you 1,001 uses for turnips), Obama will ascend once again to his throne at the top of Mount Olympus secure in the knowledge that the fawning adulation he has just received is indicative of how the people really feel about him. Such is life in the echo chamber when your megalomania is aided and abetted by the adoring TV hosts and their equally adoring audience.
Last night on Special Report with Bret Baier, Charles Krauthammer said that ever since Nixon went on Laugh-In to say, “Sock it to me,” it’s been all downhill for the idea of Presidential dignity. He may be right, but I think that was more of an anomaly. To me the real downhill slide began with Bill Clinton honking into his sax while wearing sunglasses on The Arsenio Hall Show, and that slide reached NASCAR velocity when he actually answered the “Boxers or briefs” question some outrageously rude girl asked him on MTV. Since then, politicians need to run a gauntlet of Letterman, Leno, Oprah, MTV, The Daily Show, and The View in order to get elected.
I find the entire thing distasteful and a clear indicator that we’re more interested in a Celebrity-in-Chief than we are a Commander-in-Chief. Even Democrat Governor Ed Rendell compares this to appearing on Jerry Springer. The President would dignify the office by appearing on serious, substantive shows answering real, tough questions from seasoned journalists who are familiar with the talking points and insist that the President not stick to them. Let The View stick to cooking tips and movie star interviews. Anyone who goes to The View (or Oprah, Letterman, Leno, Jon Stewart, etc) for their political information needs to have their right to vote reconsidered.
The Roundup: Hot Air posted a preview last night, but I haven’t watched it.