Why Republicans Hate Watching Obama on Late Night

Why Republicans Hate Watching Obama on Late Night



Most of us were both amused and delighted by President Obama’s “Late Night” appearance with Jimmy Fallon last week – yet, most Republicans found the Commander in Chief’s performance less than funny.  Predictably, the GOP went on an all-week rant about Obama as the “Celebrity President,” with former Bush White House adviser Karl Rove taking a cheap shot in a recent American Crossroads Super PAC video: “After 4 years of a celebrity president, is your life any better?”

But, for the most part, it was all good reviews for the president’s Fallon episode.  Simply put: it’s what we like to see our presidents do. Before sitting down for a more formal interview, President Obama shocked the audience after appearing from behind stage curtains, ready to “slow jam” with Jimmy Fallon and his band (Philadelphia’s hip hop sensation The Roots). Obama sang then talked the lead role, while Fallon and The Roots offered back up, on the tune of his plan to freeze interest rates for student loans. They were not shy about criticizing filibustering Republicans for standing in the way of his plan.

Media outlets were crammed with raving reviews about the gut-busting performance, but then you’ll stumble upon those sour few, like Fox News’ Gretchen Carlson. Carlson came down on President Obama’s appearance on the Late Night show by calling him a “nutso.”  Carlson’s scathing review was not alone; Washington Examiner writer Charlie Spiering proclaims by appearing on the comedy show, Mr. President “has ‘jumped the shark.

However, theoretically – statistically and economically – the appearance was not a bad idea, at all. You can see exactly what the campaign was attempting to do. President Obama is going after the youth vote to re-ignite the enthusiasm of 2008 and he’s attempting to woo women voters with the ‘quiet storm’ act.’ Reviewing recent polls number explains his appearance on Jimmy Fallon, down to a science.

It’s no secret the November election is going to be a tight one. Surely, Obama’s head is not buried in the sand concerning this fact.

According to Purple Strategies, the April 2012 Purple Poll shows Mitt Romney getting a second look from voters, with President Obama maintaining a small but consistent lead across the Purple electorate.  As of now, Obama is ahead 48-44, which is way to close for comfort. Therefore, the smart move –which he did with this appearance– is to electricfly the young, first time voters, by focusing on issues that directly affect them.

“The Preezy of the United Steezy” (as Jimmy Fallon called him) is leading the “King of Hypocrites” (as Romney was named on MSNBC) in the category of young voters and college students, but his coolness alone among youngsters will not win their vote. As it’s been stated before, we are voting for the President of the United States here, not Prom King.

However, just as a fun fact, the last Republican presidential candidate that was able to win voters under age 30 was Republican George H.W. Bush…. in 1988!

Back in 2008, Obama had a 34-point advantage over Republican Sen. John McCain among voters under age 30.  Fast forward four years, and the slope is not as steep. A new Harvard Poll suggests Obama is only leading Romney by 12 points among those ages 18-24, and by 23-points in the 25-29 age group, according to the survey.

To bring all these numbers full circle, guess who was the “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” audience Tuesday night? College students, ages ranging from 18-25, the same voting demographic Obama must kiss and make-up with.  Also, how fitting was it for the show to be tape on location at University of North Carolina in Chapel. Let’s not forget to mention, the women voters watching from home, and those who have streamed the video online thousands of times.

While the jury is still out on whether or not these types of appearances will pay dividends, appearing on late night comedy show is a genius idea.  Still, it’s also a signal of a tight election in November: typically, a move like that is representative of a new presidential candidate running for a first term rather than an incumbent running for a second.

Ultimately, it’s another “He’s the coolest President ever” point for Obama, and a fabulous reminder of why Romney’s stiff personality is having trouble measuring up to this. This is not to say, getting re-elected will be cake-walk for Obama, but finding a way to make people admire you, laugh with you and believe in your plans, comes easy to this particular President – while it gets harder for Romney each day (who recently told an audience of graduating college students that they should just get a loan from their parents to start a business).

In the end, the truth hurts sometimes. The late night appearance was just another reminder that Republicans have got a lot of work to do with young voters and women.


  1. Watching Obama and Fallon took me back to the days of beatniks droning home made poetry in the coffee houses of the late 1950s. The performance only lacked berets, cigarettes in long holders and black turtleneck sweaters. I expected any minute to hear someone say "He's a real gone cat, daddy-o".

    Talk about retro.

  2. Kimora, I think your article makes a good point, that Obama and the Democrats are smart to use the President's natural charisma and "coolness" to invigorate young people. My only issue? These are exactly what we know them to be, political ploys. Trust that I do not favor seeing Mr. Romney in office but both parties continue to play on our emotions through very sophisticated marketing techniques instead of actually pushing an agenda that would benefit the working class and poor (the majority of the country).
    Look at silver spoon rich boy George Bush posing with guns like he was ever an accomplished hunter. Or John Kerry's awful attempt at catching a football to seem cool. Romney tries his best to appear human and like the common man. Obama does the same, but does so better, with greater ease and really connects with people – Mccain could never pull off this kind of smooth act for the cameras – but the question is, does President Obama have a proper democrat agenda to push? Does he seek to end wars? Does he end the Patriot Act and sure up American individual privacy? Does he promote a solid healthcare plan? Does he make rich banks suffer for the harm they did to the economy? Does he work to keep people in their homes? The answer to these is no or not enough, sadly.
    The charming political strategy will likely work to win the election. Just as pictures of his beautiful family will make black people feel proud across the country … but I'd rather see him advance a true lefty agenda on top of, or instead of, this other cute stuff.

  3. People can't deal with that fact that Obama is an extraordinary person that is still down to earth. He's relatable yet someone we can respect and he's doing an awesome job as president. Point blank period.

  4. Thanks Billy for your opinion, I truly enjoyed reading it. I do believe Obama’s administration has done much more than he is given credit for like restoring the American Financial Stability Act of 2010, signing the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act, closing the sentencing gap between crack cocaine and powder cocaine, and the list goes on and on.

    Do I believe he should be voted for strictly because he tells funny jokes, and he’s a likable guy? Absolutely not. Will he probably still garner hundreds of votes off of that alone, yes, sad but true.

  5. The problem isn't that the interest is too high. It's that education costs too much and there are no jobs to help work your way through college like I did.. Freezing the interest rate will help them charge more for education. Everything is screwed up so laugh your way through it on Late Night, Cool Guy. You and everyone else won't be around long.

  6. Timing couldn't be more perfect for me. His appearance on Jimmy Fallon comforted me and actually gave me a lot of hope being that the days before I was extremely frustrated with the hassle to pay back student loans. It was literally a few days prior! When I seen him performing not only did I laugh because I could relate but I understood what his take on this issue was. I feel like Obama understands the struggle for college graduates and my hope is that a solution will be made.

    • Tudah, I do believe he has the best interest of college grads in mind, but I wish I could say the same for the republicans. We're the only country in the world that is purposely making it more difficult for our youth to obtain a college education.

  7. I know of not one person in my college that will vote for a Republican president and certainly not Romney. A vote for a Republican means that you hate some group of people. Voting Republican either means you hate women, gays, the poor, or all minorities.