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The President Does Late Night

Mar 19, 2009

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So President Obama will be the first sitting President to grace the sofa of a late night talk show. Jay Leno, 11:35p, ET tonight. Is this a smart way to reach an audience that wouldn't normally tune in? Or does it demean the office of the president to appear on a late night comedy show, as Mary Kate Cary argues:

There's a reason presidents don't do comedy on television, especially in tough times. The president sets the tone of the conversation in America. As much as President Obama would like to be a man of the people, a "regular guy," he's not anymore. His job description encompasses being Commander-in-Chief, leader of the Executive Branch of government, and Head of State. He's "The Leader of the Free World." Doing Jay Leno lessens the stature of the office, and diminishes the man. On Leno, he becomes just one more talk show guest, a celebrity on the circuit promoting his latest movie or book. It's a decision that speaks volumes about Obama's approach to the office.

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