Most politicians retire after leaving the office of the President because after being Leader of the Free World there is nothing else that can compare. But if the president thing goes bad, President Obama has shown that he could always start “The Obama Report” and be a leader of a different nation. On Monday’s show, President Obama sat in a different office chair when he took over “The Word” segment. With a good script and a good attempt at a raised eyebrow, he made his debut as a television host in Washington, D.C..
The appearance of President Obama on The Colbert Report was a much vaunted event. While the president has been a good sport at time with participating in the show, he had never appeared on the show in person. In fact, he had been notoriously reluctant to go on the show before, mostly because no politician really looks good after a few minutes with Stephen Colbert. But the “end of an era” quality to Colbert’s farewell episodes was enough to tempt the president into appearing on the show. Of course, being the president means that he could do it in a style that most every other guest cannot.
Just as Colbert was about to start “The Word,” President Obama walked on to the stage and shooed the host away from his seat. In order to make it more presidential, “The Word” became “The Decree,” a subtle jab at his supposed imperial ambitions. Reading from the same script Colbert would have, Obama made numerous jokes about himself, Obamacare and what the new Republican controlled Congress might do with healthcare. Alongside him on the screen, captions for the segment were made doubly hilarious. As they pointed out, Obamacare is only half as popular as a Grumpy Cat video. Perhaps his appearance on Colbert’s show can change that fact.
Jokes aside, President Obama’s appearance on the show was an interesting piece of political public relations. The Midterms were a failure for Democrats all over the country and have made Obama’s job as president that much harder. The gridlock in Washington is now between the president and Congress with little input from Democratic senators and congressmen. Nothing seems likely to happen for the next two years, but President Obama seems intent on at least trying to accomplish something. As he told Colbert in the interview later in the show, his hope is that history looks back on him and says that he tried to do the best job he could.
That was the President’s key message on The Colbert Report and he seems to have made it well. The show is well targeted to the Democratic base, namely younger voters. Unlike a speech, the president was able to reach an audience that largely does not pay attention to traditional media. More importantly, he showed that he is a good sport and is willing to make fun of himself which will endear him to many. If he does start “The Obama Report,” the president would probably do a good job of it and it could only be an improvement on the bad stretch he is having towards the end of his presidency.
Opinion By Lydia Bradbury