O Hits the Road. Again.

By ObamaNerd March 19, 2009

This week is an interesting week in O-land.  Yesterday, Obama made a surprise appearance on ESPN to talk about his March madness Final Four bracket picks or whatever.  Apparently those who get boners over this sort of "hoops" shit (Hi Josh!) said his picks were "educated" and showed "hoops smarts." Yawn. Despite the muscly young guys in shorts, I don't care about March Madness. But what's telling about this appearance is that it kicks off yet another road show tour. (He last went out to Iowa and Florida in early February to promote the stimulus plan.) ESPN gets about 2 million regular viewers and it's Nielsen ratings have been nearly double since March Madness began.  This makes ESPN the 5th largest viewership on cable TV (twice as many as Comedy Central, sorry Jon Stewart).

Today, Obama is townhallin' it in Orange County.  Orange County= Republican heartland.  Odd choice.  Why—in the one place that seems totally immune from the concerns of the recession—would you go and talk up the economy?  Is it to show that Obama will go anywhere, even the heart of Republican territory to push his agenda-fearlessly?  Or does he go there to prove to naysayers that even after a bumpy road, he still garners that rock star reception?  Perhaps a little of both.

16obama-lenoTonight, Obama will be on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.  The first sitting President to go on late night television.  Hmm.  Methinks we'll be talking about the economy and AIG and the upcoming spending bill.  With a regular viewership of nearly 5 million, it's no wonder that Obama is taking to the airwaves.

So why the 2nd road show?  If he is weathering the AIG Mess and the Appointment Mess and the Stimulus Oopsie-daisy with approval ratings still higher than most presidents, why take it out on the road again?  Why not wait until your next big battle?  Is he sensing that he should be the face of the brewing populist backlash against corruption and greed, not Jon Stewart? Or some yet-to-be-named Republican 2012 opponent?  Hopefully.  Or maybe it's a two-fer.  He wants to cement in people's minds that he's got your back while he repairs the damage Geithner and Dodd made this week. Get with the prOgram guys.

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