He's in the midst of the worst economic crisis in 80 years, his Treasury Secretary is facing calls to resign and questions are being asked of his Administration, yet President Obama today prepares to fight back by treading a path usually reserved for Hollywood actors.In an unprecedented step for a sitting president, Mr Obama will appear on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, on which he will attempt to explain to an increasingly angry public how $165million in bonuses were paid to employees of the failed insurance company AIG after it was bailed out with public money.
This is an excerpt from the The Times UK and it makes me stop and wonder, what is the perception of the United States abroad when "The Tonight Show" is considered a public forum worthy of political discussion? It sounds as if a precedent is being set here where you will start hearing people say, "Well, if he passes that legislation, he's gonna have to answer to Conan!"
Today, Mr Obama's office stressed that he was not appearing on Leno's show to joke his way out of the crisis - but that he would be attempting to explain to the public his economic plan.
"We don't look at it as a process of demonstrating the president's sense of humour," said Robert Gibbs, his spokesman, adding that he intended to use the appearance to "explain the economic situation".
Well, it's a joke but not a joking matter. Perhaps I just expect the President of the United States to use a more seemly forum to explain the economic crisis. Meet the Press, comes to mind. I am not saying that Jay does not have a popular show - it has been a standard of Hollywood entertainment for years - but what's next . . . an appearance on American Idol, with Obama singing "My Way?"