Sunday, October 21, 2012
Today, CNN's Reliable Sources looked at recent attempts by President Obama and Mitt Romney to humanize themselves and appeal to a broader audience. This week, both men honored the tradition of performing politically-charged jokes at the Alfred E. Smith dinner. Romney did land some solid self-deprecating zingers, including one about he and his wife can typically be found in formal wear at home. President Obama arguably got bigger laughs, especially when criticizing his first debate performance. Obama sat down with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show on Thursday night, which didn't seem like a risky proposition, but did lead to some faux outrage on the right over his statement that "it's not optimal" when four Americans are killed in Libya. Mitt Romney chose to avoid the bigger risk of facing the "sharp-tongued" ladies of The View, opting to send his wife into the fray alone. And Romney's reluctance to return to the Late Show before the election has given David Letterman weeks worth of priceless material. The CNN panel concludes that Obama seems more open than Romney to appearing in comedic settings and letting his young admirers know that he doesn't always take himself too seriously. As Nia-Malika Henderson points out, in 2008 Obama joined Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Sarah Palin in appearing on SNL in the months before the election. There hasn't been much indication as of now that either Obama or Romney will appear on that show in the two weeks before Election Day. In his leaked fundraiser video, Romney essentially said that he doesn't see the upside in doing risky appearances on comedy shows. President Obama knows the risks and the upsides so I wouldn't be surprised if he found a few minutes before Election Day to say "live from New York it's Saturday Night!"