The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008

Archives

Media Notes

Playing the Leno Card

By Howard Kurtz
Going on a late-night comedy show has become a standard technique for presidential candidates, who hope to humanize themselves -- and reach a broader audience -- by displaying an actual sense of humor.

But is it a wise move for a sitting president? At a time when he's struggling with a tanking economy and a banking bailout mess?

The White House has decided the answer is yes. On Thursday evening in Burbank, Calif., President Obama will be taking his comedy stylings to Jay Leno's show.

An unnamed White House aide told the New York Times that the president will be "as funny as the times allow." How...funny...is...that?

The move is hardly unprecedented. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced his gubernatorial candidacy at Leno's side, and look where he now. (Battling a massive state deficit, but never mind.) John McCain paid a price in last year's campaign for blowing off David Letterman, and had to return to the CBS show for a makeup interview.

There are benefits for NBC's "Tonight Show" as well, especially as Leno prepares for a nightly 10 p.m. show that debuts this fall. Obama is a ratings magnet, and Jay will likely draw a big number on Thursday. Obama isn't likely to face a "60 Minutes"-style grilling, either.

Can a "Daily Show" appearance be far behind? Maybe Obama should consult with Jim Cramer first.

Posted at 2:03 PM ET on Mar 16, 2009  | Category:  Media Notes
Share This: Technorati talk bubble Technorati | Tag in Del.icio.us | Digg This
Previous: Poll: Cheney Not the Leader of the GOP | Next: Orzag Rejects S.C. Gov's Stimulus Waiver Request


Add 44 to Your Site
Be the first to know when there's a new installment of The Trail. This widget is easy to add to your Web site, and it will update every time there's a new entry on The Trail.
Get This Widget >>


Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



Did anyone watch it last night?

Posted by: JakeD | March 19, 2009 9:58 AM

LOL! You've got it exactly backwards. They added the townhalls AFTERWARD to provide legitimacy to the trip.

Posted by: JakeD | March 19, 2009 7:59 AM


He was going to be in L.A. Wed/Thurs for Town Hall meetings. Why not go on Leno.

President Obama sets overnight swing through SoCal, 2 townhalls - Los Angeles Times - 861 related articles »
Obama sucked half a BILLION dollars out of the economy last year just to run for office -- that's just in direct donations and not counting all the lost man-hours from "volunteers" taking time off from work -
Volunteers taking time off caused what problem and how did it affect you? Lost man hours--vacations/LOA that were obviously okay with the employers. Donations in air miles/gift cards for lodging/car rental put the donations into the economy of many towns/cities. People willingly spent THEIR money as they chose. Who lost $$ due to this? There is no oxygen on your planet.

Posted by: katerinaDeligiannis | March 17, 2009 11:22 PM

I LIKE OUR PRESIDENT JUST THE WAY HE IS. HE IS THE MOST HONEST, HEALTHYEST, COMMITTED AND INTERNATIONALLY RESPECTED PRESIDENT WE HAVE EVER HAD.

IF HE WERE JESUS CHRIST, THE RIGHT WING WOULD STILL HATE HIM EVEN THOUGH HE WOULD BE TRUELY EVANGELICAL. THE FUNNY PART WOULD BE THAT HE IS A MIDDLE EASTERN JEW, A PEACEMAKER, A FORGIVING AND LOVING PERSON. JESUS WOULD THEN BE CONSIDERED WEAK AND UNPATRIOTIC. THERE IS NO WAY TO PLEASE PEOPLE WHO HATE. THEY WILL ALWAYS HAVE A REASON AND A TARGET. THEY WILL ALWAYS FOLLOW THE LATEST FAD OF HATRED. THEY HAVE GREAT SKILLS IN MARKETING THAT HATRED. WORST OF ALL, THEY CANNOT RATIONALLY EXPLAIN THEIR HATRED.

I DO BELIEVE THAT SATAN HAS HIS IMPS. MY GRANDMA USE TO SAY HE COMES AND STEALS THE SOULS OF MEN TO POPULATE HIS KINGDOM.
THAT USED TO SCARE ME TO DEATH.
IT NOW SCARES ME THAT HE HAS SO MANY FOR HIS KINGDOM. PROBABLY HASN'T CHANGED; IT'S JUST THAT THEY ARE MORE VISABLE.

Posted by: sm98yth | March 17, 2009 12:19 PM

Pathetic. A last desperate try to boost popularity.

Posted by: NoBS | March 17, 2009 10:00 AM

"User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site."

I'm beginning to wonder what constitutes a "personal attack."

Posted by: truffulaut | March 17, 2009 9:56 AM

Leno should be careful, Obama might confiscate his car collection and redistribute them to audience members. Spread the cars around comrade.

Posted by: Nate255 | March 17, 2009 9:43 AM

Good. Let Barack and Jay dance the night away.

Posted by: hipshot | March 17, 2009 7:48 AM

I had never made the connection ( someone upstream did)

that Obama is manipulating the public by trying to get a bounce from the Jon Stewart interview. yuk

this is sick and getting sicker.

Obama has lost his credibility and now either he is able to lead or he must leave

Posted by: JohnAdams1 | March 17, 2009 6:49 AM

If anyone else wants the discuss the issues, please let me know.

Posted by: JakeD | March 17, 2009 3:44 AM

JakeD wrote: "That's quite a strawman argument you've got there -- no one is saying that Hawaii isn't a State and the Panama Canal Zone is -- the issue is whether Obama is a "natural born" citizen based on other factors. Nice try though."

Yes. You should hear the *real* arguments JakeD is relying on to prove Obama is not president. Trust him when he says you have "quite a strawman." He's a connoisseur.

It's a practical matter. He needs the strawmen to chase his canards away from his pool of red herring. It's not an easy life, down on JakeD's farm.

Posted by: nodebris | March 17, 2009 2:22 AM

Leno meets "Big Brother Obama" and the winner is ?

RATINGS

VJ Machiavelli
http://www.vjmachiavelli.blogspot.com
NO MORE SCHUMER
NO MORE PELOSI
NO MORE RANGEL
NO MORE ENGEL

Posted by: VJMachiavelli1 | March 17, 2009 12:56 AM

cy31b:

That's quite a strawman argument you've got there -- no one is saying that Hawaii isn't a State and the Panama Canal Zone is -- the issue is whether Obama is a "natural born" citizen based on other factors. Nice try though.

Posted by: JakeD | March 17, 2009 12:15 AM

cy31b

What you fail (and oh so miserably) in your very weak comparison is that when McCain's eligibility was questioned, without being asked, he produced documentation that in fact he was born in the zone. That then was deemed legal and made him legitimate to be President. On the other hand ACORN Barry has yet to produce verifiable documentation that he is a natural born citizen or that his mother gave birth to him that would grant him naturalization.

Your immature shallow comment simply perpetuates the discussion. Why wont ACORN Barry cough up his b.c. ? What is he hiding? Who is he anyway...

Posted by: ChangeWhat | March 17, 2009 12:07 AM

Obama is beginning to look more and more pathetic! Yeah, just go on a talk show and bask in his popularity among the folks who elected him. Hey, Obama, the rest of the country is still waiting for a miracle to happen! Stay in Washington and get out some arrest warrants for those AIG execs! And how much is it costing us taxpayers for him to shuttle around?

Posted by: heatherczerniak | March 17, 2009 12:02 AM

Right wingers still haven't caught on to the fact that Hawaii is one of the 50 United States, so they keep asking if President Obama is a legal citizen. At the same time they think the Panama Canal Zone is one of the states so it's OK for John McCain to be President. Please, let's not tell them. This is too much fun.

Posted by: cy31b | March 16, 2009 11:23 PM

Howard,

The day Obama starts thinking about questions like "Is it wise for a sitting president? " That question is so banal, I would have expected from JakeD. It is amazing how people who know so little criticize Obama.

Posted by: Gator-ron | March 16, 2009 9:42 PM

It is fitting that the sitting president will be on Jay Leno. After all his promises while running we all jokes and his ability to run even a county much less a country is the biggest laugh I have had for years - oops - that was second to all those uninformed types electing him.

Posted by: ddpcgraphics | March 16, 2009 9:36 PM

"Legally, Joe Biden has been Acting President since noon on January 20, 2009 "

Life is just a fantasy, can you live this fantasy life...

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | March 16, 2009 8:46 PM

Gee, I thought his first 50 days as President were pretty comedic. I mean, we really shouldn't take what he says seriously, right. I mean you gotta laugh. Between his Joe the Jokester VP and the Tax Dodgers, you get his Rush Limbaugh look-alike press secretary yelling "Limbaugh, Limbaugh" and "Bush's Fault, Bush's Fault". I mean, it's a laugh riot.

Posted by: MikeL4 | March 16, 2009 7:36 PM

Leno's a right wing ideologue who's not near as smart or funny as Stewart or Colbert.

Posted by: rooster54 | March 16, 2009 6:25 PM

This is a major risk. Obama has to lay this right or he'll end up being easy prey for conservative criticism that he's out of touch.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | March 16, 2009 4:50 PM


JohnDinHouston said:
"Tell me something that President Obama has done that any middle of the road thinking person could take serious offense to in his first 50 days. Anything."

Surely you are trolling? He signed the stimulus bill with 7 billion plus of pork in it, when he had promised to go line by line and eliminate pork. That's gross lack of integrity.

.

Posted by: Billw3 | March 16, 2009 4:42 PM


Bcamp55:
"You f-ing drooling, teleprompter reading, imbecilic, moron."

You forgot to add low-life, MF'ing, piece of ****, S.O.B. :}

.

Posted by: Billw3 | March 16, 2009 4:38 PM

Bcamp - do you dwell in a world without facts when Republicans are in office, too? What is your point? Tell me something that President Obama has done that any middle of the road thinking person could take serious offense to in his first 50 days. Anything.

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | March 16, 2009 4:32 PM

TO: Jay Leno/"Tonight show" writers (TV types: Please forward to Burbank)


JAY: IF JON STEWART CAN DO IT, SO CAN YOU.

ASK OBAMA ABOUT SEYMOUR HERSH'S BOMBSHELL REVELATION THAT THE WHITE HOUSE WAS RUNNING AN 'EXECUTIVE ASSASSINATION RING' UNDER BUSH-CHENEY...

AND ABOUT HERSH'S CONTENTION THAT 'BLACK OPS' AGAINST AMERICAN CITIZENS ARE ONGOING.


You will make news -- and serve the cause of justice.


See:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-targets-terrorizes-u-s-citizens
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/domestic-torture-radiation-weaponry-americas-horrific-shame

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):

http://www.NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 16, 2009 4:29 PM

bcamp:

oh yes, a President that has been in office 56 days did all that.

Another one of those incidents whereby the popular vote didn't count, eh?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 16, 2009 4:26 PM

hey jake...
In Tikrit (Hussein's home town)---they have erected a stone statue of a shoe.

Isn't that special?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 16, 2009 4:24 PM

It's so nice to see that Obozzo still has time to enjoy his "celebrity" status.

Lucky for him people aren't losing their jobs by the 100's of thousands every month, losing their homes left and right to foreclosure and bankruptcy, losing their life's savings in the stock market, and were not at war.

Earth to Obummer - The country is headed down the toilet and your idea of time well spent is schmoozing? You f-ing drooling, teleprompter reading, imbecilic, moron.

Only the libtards are stupid enough to elect someone like you.

Posted by: Bcamp55 | March 16, 2009 4:24 PM


JohnDinHouston ask:
"Great randeur?"

Typo. grandeur. You know, much like the great one, i.e. the messiah.

.

Posted by: Billw3 | March 16, 2009 4:22 PM

Great randeur?

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | March 16, 2009 4:18 PM


Hey!!! Give Jake a break,

He is a great American, a man of great randeur and splendor, admired by all. A lover of peace, protector of the downtrodden, always for the underdog, true-blueblue Odie Colonie.. Descended from Royalty. Constant as the north star, and there when you need him, with words that serve to inspire and enlighten...

.

Posted by: Billw3 | March 16, 2009 4:16 PM

nah, Al Gore has that covered

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 16, 2009 4:16 PM

You'd think that Letterman would be upset at this turn of events, but on the other hand, he's in reruns this week because of the NCAAs. In fact, a tight UCLA-VCU game could cut into the audience for Jay in the eastern half of the nation. Just sayin'

Posted by: ValleyCaps | March 16, 2009 4:15 PM

Well, didn't most folks of a conservative ilk point out that it was unpatriotic to criticize our President during the run up to the occupation of Iraq?

But now that we are facing the worst economic crisis in several decades, it's OK to criticize the President because he's a Democrat?

Jake, I thought as people grew older, they grew wiser and less judgemental.

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | March 16, 2009 4:15 PM


Obama is not presidential at all. He goes to any extent to appear
before an audience. He is am egomaniac, and missed his calling
as a Southern Baptist Preacher Man.

.

Posted by: Billw3 | March 16, 2009 4:10 PM

Long Form Birth Certificate? I thought that dumb questioned was asked and answered; consigned to the Stuck on Stupid Scrap Heap, by our Supreme Court. These Ranters, Yammering about this and that against President Obama don't even meet the threshold of pathetic expression best described by Shakespeare's McBeth. " A tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing".

Posted by: dmscontractor | March 16, 2009 4:05 PM

jake isn't a conservative.
he's an alien.
(((( muuuuuhhhhhaaahhhahhaaaa)

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 16, 2009 4:02 PM

damn...i keep mis reading that jake.
sorry......
but is it 2 billion for just running the white house? Secret Service salaries come under this I believe. And that includes all the secret service that are assigned to ex-presidents and the like....
//////
AIG has done a "double cross" and it is very evident. How and why should they "survive" now?
I say let them go belly up. American people are getting sick of what I call
"the ever-so-slightly skirting of the law and code".
Ever so slightly, like no one is going to catch them.

And review your 401(k)s folks...get AIG off of it. Should have done it 6 months ago. Take all the loans you can on your 401(k) NOW. Don't wait and "sit it out". Don't believe any of this talk that it will turn around by 2010.
It will not.


Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 16, 2009 4:00 PM

HillMan:

Legally, Joe Biden has been Acting President since noon on January 20, 2009 -- it's not my fault that a Usurper pResident was elected -- don't worry, though, because I am going to keep posting until Obama is out of power or the good Lord takes me home.

Attucks:

I'm certainly not holding my breath in the meantime.

Posted by: JakeD | March 16, 2009 3:39 PM


//

Carfeul what you expect from the Good Lord, JakeD. He has some firm rules aboiut bearing falsw witness.

Meanehile, though, the rest of us owe you a debt of thanks. You and a few of your conservative brethren exhibit every day that conservatism has devolved from a great political movement into a mob of underemployeed, overopinionated, and completely ineffectual mumblers. Way to go.

Posted by: Attucks | March 16, 2009 3:54 PM

I agree that the President can get a message across to the people who watch Leno, if he wants.

He should go on and blast AIG.
You know, AIG was funded under the Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. They have asked for more lately, but the bulk of AIG's "bailout money" came from Bush.
And, of course, look what happens.
Bush's last breath of oxygen to his rich buddies and they took full advantage of it.

It's a right wing conspiracy folks.
(((hearty laughs )))
The proverbial "they" are trying their damnest to make this President look bad.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 16, 2009 3:53 PM

thebabenemo:

That's $2 BILLION per year, not million. At this point, it's more important for AIG to survive than the Usurper pResident in the White House.

Posted by: JakeD | March 16, 2009 3:49 PM

Jay Leno has done a wonderful job taking over for Johnny Carson to bring us a "Regular Guy" TV show equally enjoyed by Women where we receive the World News in an intellectual format wrapped in comedy to punctuate the Truth. This is where America ends the workday with a little entertainment while catching upon on the News and Trivia presented in a sane and educational way that is enjoyable an informative. An excellent venue for the President to reach those of us who may miss his Radio Address to get a personal message on the State of Affairs.

Posted by: dmscontractor | March 16, 2009 3:42 PM

(((( tee hee)))
i knew i would see my friend jakey today.

what i want to know is why we aren't all b**ching about AIG??????

who cares about 2 million dollars to keep the "institution of the white house" running smoothly.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 16, 2009 3:39 PM

HillMan:

Legally, Joe Biden has been Acting President since noon on January 20, 2009 -- it's not my fault that a Usurper pResident was elected -- don't worry, though, because I am going to keep posting until Obama is out of power or the good Lord takes me home.

Attucks:

I'm certainly not holding my breath in the meantime.

Posted by: JakeD | March 16, 2009 3:39 PM

I wonder if Jesus is aware that he's being followed by JakeD? That would certainly give me the willies.

Note that JakeD doesn't mean the same thing by Independent that most people do. He's referring to his membership in the extreme right-wing American Independent Party.

Just_An_Observer, he probably hasn't responded to you yet as he's off collecting a new bucket of red herrings to feed his canards.

Posted by: nodebris | March 16, 2009 3:34 PM

"but I've stated several times that I would be happy if he release his LONG FORM birth certificate. I would also be happy if he resigned."

You are actually suggesting that a country in huge economic crisis should have it's president suddenly resign?

Really?

And then what? Another election?

You do make me giggle so.

Posted by: HillMan | March 16, 2009 3:34 PM

Oh, Jake. Your cynicism is like warm, delicious milk and cookies to me. I eat it up and ask for more.

Bush spent a small fortune on vacations in Crawford. Yes, he could do work from there, but by all accounts he was on a quite relaxed schedule.

And carting all those people, AF 1, etc., cost the taxpayer a small fortune. Tens of millions more than if he had stayed in Washington.

Yet you said not a word.

I didn't begrudge Bush the opportunity to vacation. Yes, I thought he overdid it. But I didn't begrudge him the chance to do it.

Yet Obama makes one trip to LA and you come unglued.

Your hatred of Obama is bordering on the pathological.

But your postings are fun if for no other reason than that they are so silly. It's like my daily shot of stupid.

Posted by: HillMan | March 16, 2009 3:32 PM

Attucks:

I don't think I've ever commented on his hair cut (although I do recall the WaPo and NYT running a couple of stories that he is going grey), but I've stated several times that I would be happy if he release his LONG FORM birth certificate. I would also be happy if he resigned. So, there's at least two examples of something that Obama could do that would make me happy. Next canard?

Posted by: JakeD | March 16, 2009 2:44 PM

//

LOL...well, Jake, tell you what. Given that you're on strike from reality anyway, and that you seem to think seriously that the "birth certificate" issue matters to anyone but your fellow trolls...you keep demanding that Obama resign, and darn it, hold your breath until you get what you want.

Keep posting, though. You're good for a laugh.

Posted by: Attucks | March 16, 2009 3:31 PM

No, but that answer was included in the spirit of my answer to another more general question: "Obviously, Bush spending $2 billion per year to run the White House [or take a "vacation" which no mondern-day President does] when the economy was good is very different that Obama spending $2 billion per year". No one has answered my original questions though.

Posted by: JakeD | March 16, 2009 3:21 PM

Jake, thanks for clarifing your life status. I do notice that you did not bother to answer my original posted question to you: Did you have as much of an issue when the prior President spent 40% of his 8 years in office on VACATION?
----------------------------------------

Posted by: Just_An_Observer | March 16, 2009 3:04 PM

Just_An_Observer:

I am actually registered INDEPENDENT, so get your facts straight. I am follower of Jesus Christ -- first and foremost -- then a husband, father / grandfather, American, and proud Independent (in that order).

Posted by: JakeD | March 16, 2009 3:01 PM

I have been wondering for some time when Barack would go back on Leno. Hello everyone: this man is not stupid, and neither are his political advisors. (Not so sure about his economic ones.) He also delivers comedy well (as anyone who saw the NYC roast prior to the election will tell you). Everyone likes self-deprecation, and he is good at it. That being said, the American people will not long tolerate corporate welfare recipients paying themselves and their minions "rentention pay" with federally borrowed money when they should be receiving severance pay.

Posted by: nicksak | March 16, 2009 2:58 PM

It would make a lot of us happy if people like Jake D remembered to be American FIRST, Republican 2nd, 3rd. Educate yourself beyond FOX news and the newspaper. Perhaps you will take the blue pill and come out of the Matrix we've been in for the past 8 years...
------------------------------

Posted by: Just_An_Observer | March 16, 2009 2:53 PM

Attucks:

I don't think I've ever commented on his hair cut (although I do recall the WaPo and NYT running a couple of stories that he is going grey), but I've stated several times that I would be happy if he release his LONG FORM birth certificate. I would also be happy if he resigned. So, there's at least two examples of something that Obama could do that would make me happy. Next canard?

Posted by: JakeD | March 16, 2009 2:44 PM

LOL...come on, Jake. Nothing Obama does will make you happy. You're a troll seeking any target you can hit. He could solve this recession, win the wars, and end cancer by himself, and you and the other right-wing trolls would be online b*tching about his haircut.

Posted by: Attucks | March 16, 2009 2:34 PM

Obviously, Bush spending $2 billion per year to run the White House when the economy was good is very different that Obama spending $2 billion per year. He could just as easily (even making the point that we ALL have to economize) "deal with this crisis" and communicate with Leno's audience via video ...

Posted by: JakeD | March 16, 2009 2:33 PM

Part of dealing with this crisis is communicating with people and the President is correct to use every forum available to reach people. The world has changed a lot since 1933.

Posted by: asja | March 16, 2009 2:28 PM

JakeD, the money wasn't used to 'run the White House' (he wasn't in it yet). Further, it wasn't sucked out of the economy -- it's not like he took that money and insulated the walls in his home. That money continued it's trek through the economy. Work was done, products were made, and people were paid.

Posted by: LostInThought | March 16, 2009 2:28 PM

JakeD,
"sucked half a BILLION.."
We were already in recession from November 2007 and Obama's historic campaign kept a lot of media companies and hundreds of small businesses going. That's economic activity and he didn't cost the taxpayer anything more than his Secret Service protection. The other guy took 84 million of our tax dollars to spread lies about Obama.

Posted by: asja | March 16, 2009 2:26 PM

Howie it is patently obvious that you don’t like President Obama and have tried to find any reason to denigrate him, his policies, travels, etc. but you have really reached the bottom. What is he suppose to do sit in the White House and/or stay in Washington. I want and like a President who can multi-task. I know it’s strange after the prior admin. but…

Posted by: rlj1 | March 16, 2009 2:22 PM

Jake... were you as concerned a few years ago while our former President Bush spent 40% of his 8 years in office on VACATION? (Especially the one taken during August of 2001, where instead of reading the PDB Titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike U.S." wanted to play golf a clear brush from his ranch a.k.a. "The Western White House" Respond with facts, or not at all. Thanks.
-------------------
-------------------

Posted by: Just_An_Observer | March 16, 2009 2:22 PM

Jake... were you as concerned a few years ago while our former President Bush spent 40% of his 8 years in office on VACATION? (Especially the one taken during August of 2001, where instead of reading the PDB Titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike U.S." wanted to play golf a clear brush from his ranch a.k.a. "The Western White House" Respond with facts, or not at all. Thanks.
-------------------
-------------------

Posted by: Just_An_Observer | March 16, 2009 2:22 PM

I thought we were in "an economic crisis we haven't seen since the Great Depression"? Shouldn't he stay in D.C. and fix the problems from there (he could easily video-conference with Jay)? Obama sucked half a BILLION dollars out of the economy last year just to run for office -- that's just in direct donations and not counting all the lost man-hours from "volunteers" taking time off from work -- over $2 BILLION per year to run the White House. Shouldn't he lead by example and tighten his belt closer to home?

Posted by: JakeD | March 16, 2009 2:11 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2009 The Washington Post Company