Is It Ok For Obama To Be Funny?

Saxon/AP

Saxon/AP

When I get excited about something, a YouTube video I love, a song that is stuck in my head, a hot new anchor on CNBC, I like to tell everyone about it. It’s how I deal with being excited about something.

So when I wrote about President Barack Obama doing a cool segment on ESPN where he picked a bracket, I also posted it on a  message board and sent the link to a bunch of people. While my friends thought it was fun I noticed that I got a lot of flak here and on the message boards. The most common shot was that in the face of the recession, the President shouldn’t be in the media doing anything but working on our problems.

I thought it was interesting that this same week, two articles in the Poltico came out that lends views on this subject. Carlos Lee writes a piece on the humor of President Obama, and includes a reel of some of the jokes he’s cracked during speeches and press conferences. The other piece was an Andie Coller article on the recent media appearnces of The President, which includes the earlier mentioned ESPN segment as well as his interview on The Tonight Show.

Now I understand people’s morale with the current economic climate, they want to see a leader that’s working hard, not hardly working. But what I liked about the Coller piece is that it really deeply explores all angles of the story and notes on the risks of an approach such as Obama’s. We are already seeing some fallout about his crack on The Special Olympics. I like Coller’s idea that Obama needs to do these things to, “him build trust and personal capital with an audience he’s less likely to connect with through his weekly radio address.”

Not everybody is concerned or knowledgeable about current events like us Washingtonians. Obama was able to win the election by being able to reach across many groups of people- and he’s trying to do the same thing to reach out and get the support for the initiatives he’s pushing through.

You have to realize that President Obama has a busy schedule and that these appearances in reality are only a drop in the bucket. While you see him on ESPN for 15 minutes. That was a 15 minute break in between two meetings. The segment was shot on St. Patrick’s day- and if you look at his schedule, he did a whole lot more than a quick hit on ESPN. He met with committees, his cabinet, and was delivering remarks at receptions up until late night. I believe you and I were at home by the time he was done his day.

So what do you think? Because we’re all sad about the times means that he shouldn’t be friendly, optimistic, and open until things are better?

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