BY NATHAN FULK
Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last nine months (and you’ve neglected to get DIRECTV in your cave), then you’ve seen President Obama’s smiling face on glowing rectangles everywhere you go. In this age of constant technological companionship, it is easy to forget that there was once a time when the average American only saw the President in the newspaper, or not at all. I’m not saying that those were better times, but does anyone else get the impression that our President’s omnipresence is diluting his message? Is it possible that, after hearing the voice of power so much, we have stopped listening?
According to an article in the Washington Post, Barack Obama appeared on five different talk shows last Sunday. What is he trying to do with all this face time? One could argue that he is using unconventional means to sell his proposed reforms to people who might not read a newspaper, but a press conference, publicized well in advance, would certainly gather a bigger audience than a late-night talk show. It seems to me that the President is trying to make himself more accessible to the American people, but the election is over. We’ve already bought him, but he’s still giving the sales pitch.
Furthermore, all this time on the boob tube is time not spent on decision-making. This is a tumultuous time for America: we are ending one war, and considering an expansion of an old one. We are making major reforms to our health care system, closing torture camps, trying to dig our way out of a recession and, if that wasn’t enough, entering a cold and flu season that promises to be epidemic. I don’t want a President that can match wits with Stephen Colbert; I want one who can fix this sinking ship of a country.
Not only is he spending way too much time making himself seem friendly, but he has taken an interest in our state politics. This latest debacle, covered by the Buffalo News, reports the White House’s displeasure that David Patterson has decided to run for a full term in New York State’s next gubernatorial race. This just doesn’t feel kosher to me.
In the wake of the Obamamania of the 2008 election, the media, and by reaction, the President, has decided that we want to see him everywhere. I’m glad that he’s an accessible guy, and I even agree with him on most policy points, but I don’t want to see him on Letterman. I want to see him behind his desk. I want him to show the dignity that his office entails.
And most of all, I don’t want to see him as a Jedi.