Marcus Yam/Reuters
President Barack Obama talks to host Jimmy Kimmel during a commercial break in between taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live! in Los Angeles on October 24, 2016.

Obama on 'Kimmel': Did he score points for Hillary?

Obama relied on humor in his appearance on late-night TV. Is this an effective rebuff to Donald Trump?

President Obama appeared on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' this week, where he participated in his second ever Mean Tweets reading, a tradition on Mr. Kimmel’s show.

For all his 55 years, Mr. Obama may be the most pop culture savvy president the United States has ever seen. Will his charisma help Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton with the youth vote?

Obama opened the segment by reading @nathan’s Tweet, "Barack Obama is the Nickelback of presidents," a reference to a much-maligned rock group.

Several other put-downs followed, including a reference to Obama’s “dad jeans,” a sartorial choice that Obama once admitted to regretting on a previous Kimmel show.

"Barack Obama dances like how his jeans look,” tweeted @Maaaaartz.

One Twitter user share regret that the 44th President shared a birthday with his daughter and another insulted Obama’s fitness levels, questioning “do you even lift?”

Some even questioned the president’s food preferences, with @duckpunks writing, "I bet Obama likes mustard on his hotdogs because hes gross."

Finally, @realDonaldTrump delivered the strongest put down of the night, tweeting:

"President Obama will go down as perhaps the worst president in the history of the United States!"

Cool as ever, the president had a response ready. “Really? Well, @realDonaldTrump, at least I will go down as a president.”

While Obama barely mentioned Mrs. Clinton during his exchange with Kimmel, it was clear the election is on the president’s mind as much as it is on the rest of the country’s. The president confirmed that yes, he does watch each debate, and that yes, sometimes Trump’s debate style makes him laugh.

Although Obama reiterated his support for Clinton more by his put downs of her opponent than outright support for the candidate herself, he did affirm his support for the former Secretary of State.

Clinton is a sincere politician, Obama told Kimmel. And while Donald Trump may occasionally be amusing, many of the things he has said and done, including the famous tape in which the Republican candidate and business mogul refers to assaulting women, are not funny at all, said Obama.

Ultimately, Obama's defense of Clinton – despite his venue – was made on a rather old-fashioned basis. “I think in a time when everybody wants to get 100 percent of what they want right now, and if someone doesn't agree, they're completely wrong, the brand of politics that Hillary represents – pragmatic, you don't get everything all at once, you make progress in little pieces – that may not attract as much attention," Obama told Kimmel. "It's not something that goes into 140 characters."

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Obama on 'Kimmel': Did he score points for Hillary?
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today