“President Obama extended his media blitzkrieg into late-night television,” said Michael Shear in The Washington Post, becoming the first sitting president to appear on Late Night With David Letterman. “Why would he agree to do Letterman?” That was the topic of Letterman’s Top 10 list (watch the Obama Top 10 video), but Obama was “largely serious” on the show, answering “serious questions” about Afghanistan, health care, and the economy.
Watching Obama on TV—again—“I couldn’t help thinking: The TV thrill really is gone,” said David Zurawik in the Baltimore Sun. Obama appearing on Jay Leno was exciting, but his Letterman appearance was “a replay of his five lackluster Sunday appearances.” Maybe his aides should stage an “intervention”—“No more TV for a while, Mr. President. Let’s focus on this governing thing.”
Oh, lighten up, said Ken Tucker in Entertainment Weekly. Sure, Obama “recycled” some “talking points” from Sunday, but he got in some droll sound bites, too. (watch highlights of the show) For his part, Letterman got to show he’s “as pop-culturally influential as Conan O’Brien and Jon Stewart.” Both Obama and Letterman “ended the hour seeming strong and in control.”
That’s nice, but the point was for the “charming Commander-in-Chief” to “do something adorable,” said Andrew Belonsky in Gawker. Well, mission accomplished, thanks to audience member Mary Apple and her heart-shaped potato, which Obama called “remarkable.” Did he discuss “serious issues”? Sure. But “everyone’s going to be talking about a heart-shaped potato.”