Feature

How Jay Leno helps Obama

The consequences of being the first sitting president to appear on 'The Tonight Show'

President Obama has a lot to gain with his Thursday appearance on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, said the Los Angeles Times in an editorial. It's a chance for Obama to bypass the Washington press corps by taking his economic message "straight to Leno's 5 million viewers," and show he's a regular guy.

In case Obama hasn't noticed, said Mary Kate Cary, who wrote speeches for president George H. W. Bush, in U.S. News & World Report, he's not a regular guy anymore. He's leader of the free world. "Doing Jay Leno lessens the stature of the office, and diminishes the man."

The Right's spin is that Obama is struggling, said Jimmy Orr in The Christian Science Monitor, so he's reaching for a hand from his old pal, Hollywood. The Left says he's reaching out to the common man. No matter how you spin it, the move comes with some risk, but "it's not like we're going to see a repeat of the Jon Stewart–Jim Cramer shellacking."

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