The XX Factor

Why Is President Obama Going on “The View”?

President Obama is going to go on The View this Thursday as part of their “Red, White & View” political programming. In the past, when he wants to get popular support for something- like with the healthcare reform bill last fall -he has gone on late-night TV and the Sunday morning wonky talk shows. Since Obama’s ratings across the board are pretty dismal right now , it makes sense that he would go on a less serious talk show to get some much-needed love. Baltimore Sun TV critic David Zurawik observes , “When the going gets tough, the president goes on TV-usually in entertainment venues that guarantee he will be celebrated and can control his message.”

But why The View and not another late-night show like Letterman’s? Letterman has been sympathetic to the president before, and the ratings for The View aren’t gangbusters-according to the Web site TV by the Numbers, during this year’s May sweeps, The View had an average of 816,000 viewers. Obama possibly chose The View because he saw how gentle it was with Vice-President Joe Biden , who went on the show in April. He got to talk a lot about his lovely wife Jill and how he accidentally dropped the F-bomb, but didn’t spend much time on matters of substance. Obama is looking for an easy boost, and he knows he’ll get it from Barbara and co. Clip of Biden from April is embedded below.