Obama on 'The View': ratings blockbuster or presidential epitaph?
Daytime talk show has political observers split over whether Obama on 'The View' will help or hurt his image.
President Barack Obama's chat with the ladies of ABC’s daytime talk show, "The View" – taped Wednesday for air on Thursday – has got more than a few media mavens, brand experts and public relations pros in a tizzy. Depending on your, well, viewpoint, Mr. Obama on "The View" is either committing political suicide, making a master marketing move, or contributing to the decline of western civilization, specifically, the United States.Skip to next paragraph
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“This is strictly a brand-management move,” says marketing author Mark Stevens, noting that Obama's decision to snuggle up on the couch with a group of unscripted female hosts is clearly an effort to offset his recent ratings decline. But, he asks, do we really want the leader of the free world “to be selling himself just like Coke, or Pepsi, or Velveeta cheese?”
Beyond that, the risks inherent in an extended, informal face-to-face with such unpredictable hosts as Barbara Walters and Whoopi Goldberg may outweigh any benefits to be gained from the unprecedented strategy, says DePauw University professor Jeff McCall.
Such appearances, says Mr. McCall, do carry some risk of having the president let his guard down and saying something casually that doesn't come off well, as happened with his Special Olympics gaffe on Jay Leno's "Tonight Show" in 2009.
"Ultimately, I am not sure presidential appearances on daytime chatfests or even late night talk shows help to elevate the national political dialogue, but they clearly show that the boundaries between news media and entertainment media continue to dissolve,” he adds.
The author of a book on the 2008 campaign suggests this is simply the President reverting to form when the going gets tough. “It is not at all surprising that President Obama will appear on "The View," says Gary Kaskowitz via email. Obama’s deeply-emotional appeal helped propel him, says the author of “Brand It Like Barack!"