Friday, Oct. 09, 2009

The Ubiquitous President

Residency at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue gives Obama the world's loudest megaphone, and he hasn't been shy about using it. In his first six months in office, he gave three times as many interviews as either of his two immediate predecessors and has already held more prime-time news conferences than George W. Bush did in eight years. On a single Sunday in September, he appeared on five separate talk shows to articulate his case for health-care reform. Whether or not you tune out the Beltway gossip, you can't help tune in to the President's policies. He's popped up everywhere from David Letterman's couch to ESPN, where in March he revealed his (disappointingly vanilla) Final Four picks on SportsCenter. He's also appeared on the cover of TIME magazine seven times since election night. Whether you're a fan or foe of Obama's ubiquity seems to come down to whether you're a backer in general. According to a New York Times/CBS News poll taken in the wake of his whirlwind tour of Sunday talk shows in September, 79% of those who approve of how the President is handling his job said he is making the right number of appearances; 72% of those who disapprove said he is showing up too often.