I’m surprised. They’re always reluctant to donate valuable primetime advertising air to the White House, but they’ll do it when the issue is pressing enough. This wasn’t? It would have been O’s big chance to undo some of the political damage to his party among casual voters before the midterm campaigns get rolling. You would think after they helped elect this guy twice that they wouldn’t now deny him a soapbox to crow that, by one and only one very dubious measure, his — and the left’s — big “achievement” is a success. Baffling.
Et tu, NBC?
White House officials sought valuable primetime air for a rare, impromptu Tuesday night address to tout the accomplishment of signing up more than 7 million people under the Affordable Care Act.
But network officials refused to make the kind of accommodation they did previously for the announcement that Osama Bin Laden had been killed, for instance, and Obama was left instead cutting into the much smaller audiences of Ellen and other daytime shows.
Three sources familiar with the request confirmed the White House asked for the primetime slot in their effort both to emphasize a bright moment following the challenging roll out and, more important, to try to reintroduce the country to a law that remains unpopular. One top White House official referred BuzzFeed to another top official for comment on the conversation with networks, but the second official did not respond to a request for comment.
Maybe it was a pure bottom-line calculation or maybe they concluded that, at this point in his presidency, a direct appeal from The One himself just isn’t going to move the needle much — especially on ObamaCare, where public sentiment has been static (with occasional exceptions) for ages. If they’re going to sacrifice some bucks for The Cause, they want some political bang in return. Which makes me wonder: Why didn’t the White House organize a televised concert or something on behalf of ObamaCare? That sounds ridiculous to you and me, but then having the president trade one-liners with Zach Galifianakis sounds ridiculous too and yet it allegedly helped boost traffic to Healthcare.gov. They’ve already used numerous celebrities as a shiny object to get the attention of twentysomethings over the last few months. There’s no shortage of them who’d volunteer to perform for His Majesty if asked, I’m sure — Katy Perry, for one, is famously a proud Obama fan — and the networks would have happily scheduled that in primetime. Why didn’t it happen? They could have had two or three hours of A-listers lined up with the Healthcare.gov web address and an 800 number onscreen the whole time. Red-staters would have hated every minute of it, but so what? The ObamaCare battle lines have already been drawn.
Exit question: It’s a fait accompli that former President Obama will end up making a cameo in a Galifianakis movie someday, isn’t it? Sigh.