President Obama stormed the major networks over the weekend appearing on as many as five of them. Critics promptly termed it as over exposure. There has been way too much “over the board rhetoric”, fear mongering and false propaganda (“Obama lies, grandma dies” among other outrageously false campaigns) on the right. President Obama and his team have done their best to go in for a campaign style run around the country to try and minimize the negative effects of their opponents’ campaign. But it appears that they figured it was best to have the President directly take his message to the people though the major networks. Given the President’s inherent ability to handle such interviews well it was a timely and well thought out strategy.
In this day and age, it is so easy to slip up in the media. President Obama did a phenomenal job of staying on message right through all the interviews. His ability to be clear and precise without ever once coming across as being evasive is truly commendable. On the downside these interviews quickly got boring and repetitive. As for the interviewers, none of them really came through with deeply insightful or particularly memorable questions (I think Letterman will do a better job). It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Racism, Afghanistan, and Healthcare are the hot current topics of interest. Surely these media pundits could have devised something more creative to ask the President instead of the predictable questions. George Stephanopoulos I thought got a little too cute with a definition of the word “tax”.
President Obama certainly helped his cause by re-affirming his commitment to healthcare reform but its very unlikely that these interviews did little to convince any of his opponents. He could perhaps have been more forceful in calling out the negative propaganda like he did in his joint session of Congress. The Republican leadership has done little to squash the outrageous accusations from the right. President Obama could have seized the moment to take a few shot at them. But he chose not to, but instead remain above the fray.
Despite President Obama’s sincere efforts, at this juncture it does appears as though he has to kiss goodbye to bi-partisanship and get his party fully on board to pass the healthcare bill, if he ever hopes to have one passed.