You’re going to hear a lot of gnashing and gnawing today about the President appearing on ABC’s The View on July 29. But it might just be the best move Obama could make right now, Will Lee insists.
It’s the first time a sitting president has ever appeared on a daytime talk show, and conservatives and liberals alike will slam Barack Obama for what they’ll probably perceive as a flimsy distraction from all the “serious” issues he’s facing. But they’re seriously wrong.
We get it: Horrific oil spill, saggy economy, instability within his own party, and, today, a potentially critical leak exposing all kinds of serious flaws in the US strategy in Afghanistan. It’s easy to ask, “Isn’t there a better time for our president to be sitting down at America’s favorite televised kaffeeklatsch gabbing with Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sherri Shepherd, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck?”
There’s really no better time. In fact, this is the best time. And the best audience, too: The View has the broadly female, domestic-decision-making audience of people who make a difference where it counts. Namely, at home, with kids, and with many more real-life concerns than the yammering pundits at FOX News or MSNBC.
And that’s what is brilliant about Obama’s View gambit: He knows he has to reach these women, who voted for him in droves in 2008, to sway public sentiment back his way. What better way to get them than The View?
Obama’s transcendent strength as a candidate was his ability to communicate with the citizenry, whether in person or on TV. After ascending to the Oval Office, he’s often seemed distant, removed, and problematically disconnected from the concerns of Everyman and Everywoman. He has often seemed like the Overanalyzer-in-Chief rather than a Great Communicator.
And yet, a well-promoted, highly-hyped, much-debated and, ultimately, minimally-invasive sit-down with the View crew could change all that. He could tell us with some feeling and intimacy what he’s doing, and how he’s really feeling about the issues circling him like sharks. Obama could, and should, reasonably convey some degree of insecurity about what’s going on. After all, he’s got to be just as worried as the rest of us, if not more so.
But in just one moment, with his jacket unbuttoned, one elbow draped on the back of the couch, that confident grin the nation knows, and the galvanizing self-assurance that got him elected president, Obama can tell the ladies of The View and the rest of the country that everything will be worked out.