President Obama has always been skilled at sending out very precise, targeted signals, whether it’s to mainstream swing voters or to his liberal base. But the group Obama works hardest at signaling to is the young, Millennial hipsters who were so vital to his 2008 victory over Hillary Clinton.
As a substantive matter, Obama’s presidency has been terrible for these people. High unemployment numbers for recent graduates. No bending of the curve on college tuition prices. An entitlement system that gets less solvent by the day. And a new healthcare regime that’s an explicit transfer of wealth from younger, healthier workers to older folks and the unemployed.
Yet Obama has made sure to signal that, despite everything, he’s really on their side. We see these signals in the big show he makes each year of filling out his NCAA bracket. (It’s not like there’s a war on or anything.) We see it in his choice of bffs. And above all, we see it in his TV habits, where Obama goes out of his way to let it be known that he’s a huge fan of HBO and Millennial darling shows such as Game of Thrones and True Detective.
It defies reason as to why a president who has to confront real-world things like ISIS beheadings (sometimes of American citizens) would want, or need (or have time) to watch the GoT “Red Wedding.” Except that it’s the most SWPL-show on TV. So there we are.