To the great surprise of no one except Robert Gibbs, airing a reality show in lieu of yet another rerun of “If You Like Your Plan, You Can Keep Your Plan” was a good idea — in all the important demographics, anyway. No word on what the over-50 crowd was tuned into, but given the way The One’s polling with seniors these days he’d better hope they had “Dance fever” too.

Hard numbers: 31.8 million total viewers across 10 networks for Obama’s speech. That’s a decent pick-up from his heath-care presser in July, which drew 25 million when no one was paying attention to the issue yet. But to put it in perspective, the snoozer he held in April to celebrate his first 100 days drew almost as many people as last night’s supposedly historic, hyper-hyped, Beyond Thunderdome Obama mega-event. He did 52 million for his State of the Union address in February; now his signature policy issue — and the cause of Ted Kennedy’s life, as we’ve been reminded eight thousand times in the past 10 days — earns him a little more than half that. Hopenchange fee-vah!

He followed his press secretary’s lead and did a little whining about Fox in his speech this morning too, albeit much more personably than Gibbs, natch. Skip ahead to about 30 seconds in. Click the image to watch.

Tags: Barack Obama