Sometimes, you get the feeling that President Obama simply isn’t very comfortable being president. Sure, he loves speaking before adoring crowds. And we all know that he adores his trusty troop of teleprompters. But as soon as he moves off script – when we get Obama being Obama – he seems ill at ease.
Unless he’s in his element, that is. He’s in his element while playing golf. He’s in his element while playing basketball.
And apparently, he’s in his element while appearing on “The View.”
In the past, I’ve compared Obama to a teenage girl. “The president is like an unattractive high school girl desperately looking for a date to the prom,” I wrote in June 2009. “Any boor can take her home for a few compliments.”
He may not be a teenage girl, but he certainly likes chatting like one. It is utterly unpresidential for a sitting president to spend his days chatting up Joy Behar just because, as Obama put it, “Look, I was trying to find a show that Michelle actually watched, and so I thought this is it, right here.” Note to President Obama: if you want to talk to Michelle, walk down the hall. You don’t have to subject the rest of the country to the spectacle of Joy Behar drooling on your sleeve.
President Obama’s brilliant repartee with the girls on “The View” included talk about Snooki from Jersey Shore – “I’ve got to admit, I don’t know who Snooki is”; his vacation – “it couldn’t have been a better couple of days”; and blacks – “we’re a mongrel sort of people.”
But most of all, it contained copious doses of Obama’s patented False Humility™ and Unintentional Irony™. “[W]e shouldn’t be campaigning all the time,” Obama said. “There’s a time to campaign, and there’s a time to govern.” He said this on “The View,” a daytime television show. Over the weekend, he’ll be doing two DNC fundraisers. Now that’s what I call governing.
That wasn’t all. After spending the better part of two years blaming President Bush for everything under the sun, Obama told the sycophantic audience, “You said it’s been tough for me, but the truth is it’s not tough for me. I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about me.” Excuse me while a laugh hysterically … still laughing … okay, done. Have you ever noticed that the people who speak most about their selflessness are often the most selfish people you meet? This president does nothing but worry about himself, which is why he tosses people under the bus on a regular basis – and why he constantly tells us how grand he is.
People like Shirley Sherrod, whom he appointed knowing full well what she was. When confronted about his firing of Sherrod, he immediately blamed everyone in the entire world, except for himself. “What I do think happened in that situation is that a 24/7 media cycle that’s always looking for controversy and often times doesn’t get to the facts first, generated a phony controversy,” he said. “A lot of people overreacted, including people in my administration.” Not him, mind you. People in his administration.
Actually, he said, it was God who was to blame – or Darwin – since God/Darwin created a “reptilian side of our brain” that leads to mistrust “if somebody sounds different or looks different.” By God, we’re all third graders and he’s going to lecture us on basic classroom morality. Then he’ll sing Barney songs.
But this is the crowd that eats this sort of thing up. That weeps when Oprah trots out her latest sob story. That cheers wildly when Tyra hands them bottles of vaseline. No wonder this is Obama’s target audience. Many people who watch “The View” are, quite simply, idiots.
And Obama preys on idiots like a vulture on the carcass of a bloated beached whale. That’s why he can tell them with a straight face that he has saved 2.5 million jobs and they hoot and holler as though he has. He can play the innocent victim of brutal bullies and they sigh as though they’re watching a re-run of My Bodyguard.
Here’s the problem for Obama: even though he thinks we’re a nation of morons, we’re not. We’re onto his act. And there aren’t enough people in the studio audience of “The View” to make up the electoral gap.