The Jon Stewart Obama interview is part of a big week for the comedian. In fact, the Jon Stewart Obama episode may not even be the highlight of his week. As everyone knows, he is putting his clout on the line this Saturday to bring sanity into an insane midterm season. Of course, it may be too little, too late to stop the madness in these midterms, especially since madness is paying off for the Republicans. Therefore, Stewart questioned Obama on how things have devolved from “Yes we can” to “Please baby, one more chance.”
President Obama is no stranger to The Daily Show, having appeared a few times before 2008. In addition, Stewart has had former presidents and some sitting foreign heads-of-state on before. However, The Daily Show has never had a sitting U.S president in the studio, so they gave him the full half-hour last night.
At first, the Jon Stewart Obama showdown had the President do most of the talking, as he touted the accomplishments of the last two years. Although Stewart tried to get some one-liners in, the President largely avoided bantering back, as he stayed on message.
But midway through, Stewart went into his main point, which has fueled The Daily Show’s recent criticism of the administration. To him, and to many progressive liberals, this administration has appeared “timid” in its approach. That got the President going, as he defended how much they have achieved, and that change could not come overnight.
To that point, Stewart questioned how President Obama had to back from his high campaign rhetoric, and hired some of the same old people, like Larry Summers. This actually made the President slip up a bit, as he used President Bush’s old “Heck of a job” line to defend Summers.
The Obama interview started slowly for the comedian, since the President did much of the talking early. Yet Stewart got his jabs in before long, although some will probably say that he could have gone further.
In the past, asking that would have seemed unlikely, but the rise of The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and Real Time has helped make funny people look like serious pundits. However, this was the first time that a comedian questioned a sitting president, and served as the first test of Stewart’s power this week.
Although the episode was big for The Daily Show, its host has a bigger test on Saturday, with the Rally To Restore Sanity And/Or Fear. He and Stephen Colbert will prove just how influential they are on the Washington Mall, and whether their message -or lack of it – does make a difference.
Not too many laughs were found from Stewart’s Obama interview, but is he a strictly laughing matter anymore? The next round of answers will come on Saturday.
The Daily Show- “October 27, 2010 – Barack Obama”
Huffington Post- “Jon Stewart’s incisive Obama interview proves he deserved the President’s time”