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?

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.

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."

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.