A pathetic view was the view of a sitting U.S. president choosing to appear on a recent episode of the television talk show The View. This primarily ladies’ talk show venue customarily concerns itself with the complex and weighty matters of Hollywood celebrities, sexual identity issues, and occasion forays into political mudslinging. It has proved successfully entertaining to the selected demographic audience with its coffee klatch formula.
Why would a sitting U.S. President feel the need to appear on such a show? The leader of the free world now becomes just one in a parade of celebrities, would be celebrities, or failed celebrities. Which category does the President find himself in? Rather than convey a sense of gravitas commensurate with the Office of President, he appears to be just another likeable guy there, schmoozing with the gals, apparently hoping for a bounce in his job approval ratings. Perhaps he is desperately trying to understand why his approval ratings continue to sink even as he and his Democratic Congress have crammed legislative victories through the Washington sausage factory.
The TARP, the automobile industry takeovers, a re-make of the U.S. health care system via legislative edict, cap-and-trade taxation, and the non-reform, financial reform via the Financial Reform Act were all priorities of this President. Yet, he cannot fathom why his approval ratings continue to sink. Why does the public not award him approval commensurate with his successes in advancing his agenda? Perhaps by appearing on a popular TV show and showing how charming he really can be, the public might take a liking to his re-making of the American dream in his own vision.
There is the other possibility that the public does not view his legislative successes as what they want for their future. Force feeding the citizenry with legislative remedies not wanted or accepted has been met with a vigorous, populist push back. The President seems to have a talent for tuning out the wishes of the public.
The President has access to the Oval Office, the penultimate “room with a view”, yet he chose a television program which competes with daytime soap operas. What will be his next show…Desperate Presidents of D.C.?