Presidential polls 2012 after debate seem to favour Obama. Meanwhile Obama’s Daily Show performance was simply superb (video)
Presidential appearances on television tend to be boring affairs (George W Bush’s on Letterman being the exception). They go there and say what they have been saying all the time, they push their record, their policy and generally do boring recitations.
For the most part, Obama’s appearance on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show was no different. But then this was Jon Stewart. He began by showing the President two pictures of the first lady, telling the president that they were from the two debates, and asking him to help him pick out which was from which. In one the Michelle Obama looked angry, and in the second she is all smiles as she goes up to give the president a hug.
“Cute. Cute, Jon,” was all Obama could manage between smiles. He conceded that he had an “off night” but said that apart from the presentation, the fundamentals remained the same. Then it was back to a recitation of what the government had achieved till then, and how Obama wanted to build upon it in the next four years.
Stewart threw him another zinger. Should his argument be considered an affirmative one for another Obama presidency or a negative one against the Romney presidency. “Or is it a melange?” Obama said it was a bit of both. He wanted to build on his achievements and at the same time prevent a rollback that would do harm to the economy and to the middle class.
Obama mentioned the middle class, several times, characterizing Romney vision as one where the top sliver does well and everybody else gets squeezed. While billionaires and millionaires make money while the rest lose benefits. Stewart quickly interrupted, I am hearing this for the first time, he said, what are you going to do to us millionaires?
The next segment of the debate was a mixture of light hearted and tough questions. First, how many times does Joe Biden appear in nothing but a wet bathing suit for cabinet meetings? Obama said he had put out a directive to stop that practise but “he looks pretty good in it.”
Then he dodged a tough one on Benghazi, was the government confused over what has actually happened there? Obama countered that he was not confused about what needed to be done – boosting security across the region, investigating what has happened and going after those who did it – but it takes time to fill out the whole picture as intelligence keeps coming in. The president reiterated that he still wanted to close Guantanamo, but that involves tradeoffs and Congressional cooperation.
The last question, how many mails had the Obama campaign sent him (Stewart) in the 14-15 minutes while the interview has been going on?, was answered with a exhortation from the president to go out and vote, because this was a crucial election.