Not everyone was amused by President Obama's appearance on "The Daily Show" last night. Apparently among that group is Michael Steele -- no stranger to image controversies himself -- and the Republican National Committee. Today the RNC released a stinging press release taking issue with the media appearances "President Dude" has made over the past two years, contending that their cumulative effect is to demean the nation's highest office. As RNC spokesman Doug Heye explains:
Ever since Obama became President, his media plan — from his hour long ESPN Bracketology sessions, to his appearances on The Tonight Show and The View has lowered the bar and had the effect of trivializing the Presidency. That was before last night's appearance on Comedy Central's The Daily Show, where, while attempting to stop the hemorrhaging with his core constituency, our President was called "dude." One can only be grateful Baywatch is no longer on the air...
However, longtime Obama critics at the RNC aren't the only ones taking issue with Obama's dudeness. Writes left-leaning Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank:
On Comedy Central, the joke was on President Obama Wednesday night.
The president had come, on the eve of what will almost certainly be the loss of his governing majority, to plead his case before Jon Stewart, gatekeeper of the disillusioned left. But instead of displaying the sizzle that won him an army of youthful supporters two years ago, Obama had a Brownie moment.
The Daily Show host was giving Obama a tough time about hiring the conventional and Clintonian Larry Summers as his top economic advisor.
"In fairness," the president replied defensively, "Larry Summers did a heckuva job."
"You don't want to use that phrase, dude," Stewart recommended with a laugh.
Dude. The indignity of a comedy show host calling the commander in chief "dude" pretty well captured the moment for Obama.
Before jumping on the bandwagon, we'll wait for Jeff Lebowski to weigh in on the alleged "indignity" of Dude as an honorific.
("Big Lebowski" screenshot: Movie Screenshots)