You should watch the entire “Funny or Die” bit here.
1. As has been obvious from the beginning of his administration, President Obama has retained the most incompetent, tone-deaf, leadership-ignorant and inept advisors in recent history, and those advising his predecessors were nothing to be proud of. This means that President Obama has tolerated, and worse, followed the advice of such incompetent advisors. He also selected them. He is accountable.
2. For the President of the United States, in the middle of an international crisis in which his authority, power and stature is central, to submit himself as a prop in a comedy video is irresponsible, reckless, and shows abysmal priorities and judgment.
3. Political expert Larry Sabato, interviewed about the bit on CNN, resorted to an “everybody does it” defense, arguing that following Bill Clinton discussing his underwear on MTV, the dignity of the Presidency was pretty much beyond repair anyway. This is utter nonsense, and disingenuous as well. Jimmy Carter devoted his entire term in office to stripping it of any majesty, dignity or authority, from walking the route from the Capitol after his inauguration, to sitting on porches in flannel shirts asking retired farmers how he should run the country. It took Ronald Reagan about six months to return the image of the office where it belongs. The leader of the United States isn’t a straight man, or a country store yokel. Whoever holds the office has a duty to protect its image and aura, because they are in no small part part of the office’s power. Citing a President who disgraced his office and behaved like an over-sexed executive at the office Christmas party does not justify Obama’s disregard for the history, authority, public and nation he represents, allowing himself, and them, to be diminished and mocked.
4. Obama handled himself well in the encounter with comic Zack Galifianakis. I’m sure he would have taken a pie in the face or sat of a whoopee cushion with panache too.
5. I guess it is only a matter of time before we see Obama in wearing a sandwich board and handing out flyers promoting the Affordable Care Act. Quite apart from the inappropriateness of the President playing patsy as a comedian rolls his eyes and treats him like stooge, Obama’s voluntary transformation into PR flack for his precious law is nearly as embarrassing. Was there a previous instance when a President felt his best and highest use was to promote participation in a law that had already been passed and signed? The exercise looks transparently desperate, and, like almost everything this President does, weak.
6. CNN’s commentators, who are inclined to give Obama a pass on everything but seemed genuinely perplexed by the latest display of leadership ineptitude, suggested that while those “over 40” wouldn’t “get it,” younger Americans would probably think the President was being funny and cool. If true, somebody needs to teach younger Americans that leaders of powerful nations with responsibilities to million of people don’t need to be funny and cool. They need to be trusted, respected, and competent.