Social Media will prove to be extremely important with the 2012 election. Hey, the President’s team proved to be Masters with its use in 2008, displaying the viability of Social Media.
They have also demonstrated to be Masters at Facebook Town Hall Meetings, raising money on the Internet, and continue to utilize social media tools in unprecedented ways.
Social Media, and “unconventional” TV Programs permit the President to connect with young people, and other voters in ways that have not been done before. To expand the base in unconventional ways, and oh by the way, to also avoid the filter of the White House Press Corps.
However, I want to ask you, the readers here, to think about something I have been pondering for several days?
Was the appearance by the President of the United States on Jimmy Fallon’s TV show where the President also , “slow Jammed the News,” a bit too much?
Does it degrade the Presidency of the United States?
Is it beneath President Obama?
Remember that McCain spot? John McCain ad on Obama said: “He’s the biggest celebrity in the world. But is he ready to lead?
Already, the Romney folks seem to be doing the same.
What President Obama took part in is a regular sequence for the Fallon show, called, “Slow-Jam-The-News.” Full disclosure, I had never heard of the segment before in my life.
“This election is not going to be about who’s cooler,” Romney senior adviser Peter Flaherty said at a Washington Post Live Newsmaker Forum. “The question is going to be, who do you trust to run the economy?”
Eric Fehrnstrom, another top Romney adviser, also criticized Obama for his appearance on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” on the University of North Carolina campus, where the president “Slow Jammed the News.” Fehrnstrom said the president’s performance was “off key,” and showed inappropriate levity about an issue – the possible doubling of student loan interest rates – that deserved to be taken more seriously.
“You won’t see the governor slow jam the news,” Fehrnstrom said, not discounting the possibility Romney could appear on more late-night talk shows or even “Saturday Night Live,” thanks to the ability of those shows to reach voters who normally don’t follow politics as closely.
Personally my opinion is the President’s Fallon appearance was close to that fine line of what is appropriate, and what is unacceptable. However, I thought the same thing with his first David Letterman appearance, and now such late night Presidential appearances between Letterman and Jay Leno are considered part of the norm.
There is a time and place for everything.
For example, Presidents appearing at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner is a long tradition. Presidents poke at themselves, their administrations, and of course their rivals. There this past weekend, President Obama took on Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, of course Mitt Romney, and even the Secret Service.
In the end, I concede that I could possibly be wrong on this issue. Could it be that I’m behind the times? President Obama afterall must find a way to energize young people. His job could depend on it.
The young people that were part of Fallon’s North Carolina audience did jump to their feet as the President walked on stage, and gave him a standing ovation. The entire five minute “slow jamming the news” segment was solely on keeping student loans affordable.
Perhaps, it’s just that I’m used to seeing our Presidents in traditional ways, with traditional methods.
Some of us may consider reaching out to young people as a laughing matter when it comes to politics, but consider this, according to CNN. (We also discussed the youth vote on TV last week, “the Richard French Live Program.” You can see it here)
“In 2008, the president won two-thirds of 18-29 year olds. Sen. John McCain won 32%. That year young voters made up one-fifth of the electorate. That may not sound like a large enough voting block to decide an election but, on the state level, young voters can make a big difference.
In North Carolina during the last election, Obama won by just 1%, or 14,177 votes. But he carried the state’s young voters by an overwhelming 74%. The youth vote clearly helped provide a cushion for his upset victory and the state’s 15 electoral votes.”
Maybe, just maybe, for young people they view what the President did as a new way of effectively communicating with them. Maybe I should change my way of thinking and get with the times.