Feature

Obama's TV blitz

What President Obama wins and loses by pitching his policies in television appearances

Somebody tell President Obama, said Lauren Beckham Falcone in the Boston Herald—he's supposed to be commander in chief, not celebrity in chief. But Obama seems more comfortable in Hollywood than Washington, with a media blitz that has taken him from Jay Leno's Tonight Show to 60 Minutes. Americans want our presidents to be accessible, "but as Britney Spears taught us all, sometimes too much limelight can sour a career."

There's a reason Obama's strategy of taking his message directly to the people is giving his political rivals fits, said Brian Lowry in Variety. It works. Unlike his predecessor, Obama has an easy command of the facts, which makes these TV appearances very effective. So brace for more, because Obama has additional prime-time media events planned.

Obama really has no choice but to become a "media hound," said John Ibbitson in the Toronto Globe and Mail. Of course Obama runs the risk of angering his critics further as each appearance sparks complaints that he's cheapening the presidency. But Obama has to push through earthshaking policies if he hopes to save the economy, and he's the only one in the administration with the skills and political capital to pull it off.

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