The president makes another play for the female vote, chatting with Whoopi and the gang about gay marriage, Title IX, and pop culture
"I love hanging out with women!" That's what Barack Obama told the hosts of The View during his taped appearance on Tuesday's episode of the morning talk show. (Watch a clip below.) If it wasn't obvious that the president is "trying to shore up his already-strong support among women," says Sarah Frank at New York, he made the effort abundantly clear during his appearance, which covered his gay marriage stance, his support for Title IX, the three most important women in his life, and Kim Kardashian. Here, six takeaways from the friendly sitdown:
1. Obama considered announcing his "evolution" on The View
The president apparently considered breaking the news of his historic support for gay marriage on The View. "We thought, what are the formats where we could talk about it not just as a policy issue but as a personal issue, and all of you came to mind," he said. But as "the story escalated" after Vice President Joe Biden went public with his own support of gay marriage, says Mary Bruce at ABC News, Obama ultimately decided to bump up the announcement.
2. He isn't mad at Biden for stealing his thunder
Sure, Biden got "a little bit over his skis" by pre-empting Obama's gay-marriage endorsement, but the president told The View hosts that he doesn't fault the vice president for "forcing his hand," says Bruce. "It came out generosity of spirit," Obama said. "We talked about it and what I said was I'm never going to blame anybody for telling what they believe."
3. He supports Title IX
The president says helping coach his daughters' basketball teams helped him realize the importance of Title IX funding for girls' athletic programs. "When girls are given the opportunity and they're competing and they're working as a team, it makes them strong, it makes them more confident." By the time he finished relaying his "masterful" support of the legislation, "I literally… got up from my chair and applauded the TV screen," says David Zurawik at The Baltimore Sun.
4. Even the president embarrasses his kids
No visit to The View's couch would be complete without swoon-worthy family stories, says Shawna Thomas at MSNBC. One compelling tale: For Obama's 50th birthday, daughters Malia and Sasha read aloud a list of his greatest attributes as a dad. On Malia's list: "You are just the right amount of embarrassing." And First Lady Michelle apparently teases him "mercilessly" about his big ears and nose, and keeps him honest about smoking. Obama said he refrained from sneaking a cigarette after the killing of Osama bin Laden because "Michelle will catch me."
5. He hasn't heard of Fifty Shades of Grey
Obama "can't resist any opportunity to establish his coolness bona fides by answering every single pop culture question he's asked," says Elspeth Reeve at The Atlantic Wire. On The View, he submitted to an entertainment quiz, revealing his familiarity with the Kim Kardashian divorce proceedings and his enjoyment of Modern Family and Homeland — but his ignorance of "mommy porn" novel Fifty Shades of Grey. "I'll ask Michelle when I get home," the president said.
6. Critics are deriding the segment as meaningless fluff
Obama didn't break any real news on the show, says Ken Tucker at Entertainment Weekly, and really, the appearance was "pretty anodyne, neither illuminating nor amusing, and, well, pointless." Even the pop-culture quiz does little beyond humanizing Obama. In the end, it's just a "polite waste of time."
Other stories from this topic:
- Opinion Brief: Is Obama using the culture wars to distract from the economy?
- The List: The JPMorgan mess: 4 ways it hurts Obama
- Opinion Brief: Obama's anti-Bain 'vampire' ad: Unfair to Romney?
- Arts & Entertainment
- Society & Culture
- Barack Obama
- gay marriage
- Kim Kardashian