Barack Obama scores a marketing home-run on The Tonight Show
President Barack Obama continues to demonstrate why he’s the most consummate politician of our era, and one of the most brilliant marketers as well.
The other night, he appeared as a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. This was the first time that a sitting president has appeared on a late-night talk show, and from most accounts the interview went quite well. I agree.
Except for a bowling joke that didn’t go over well with people involved in the Special Olympics, Obama hit all the right notes. He spoke clearly and eloquently about a number of topics.
Obama agreed to do The Tonight Show because it gave him an opportunity to speak directly to the American people – in an intimate setting – about a number of important issues. In my opinion, the talk show/TV medium is far more effective than a plain old press briefing or press conference.
When asked about the U.S. banking crisis, Obama addressed the issue head-on. His overview of the crisis made more sense than many of the talking heads who have appeared on radio and TV over the past six months.
He talked about AIG and the bonus scandal that has come to symbolize the greed and corruption that led to the collapse of many financial institutions around the world.
The President even talked about how cool it is to fly in Air Force One and tossed in a few anecdotes about his children for good measure.
Throughout the interview, Obama appeared poised and calm. He was completely in control of his subject matter and his message. By the end of it, you felt a little better about the recession, and a little more hopeful that the man in charge of fixing things will eventually get the job done.
That’s why it’s not only Barack Obama the “politician” who will be studied for generations. It’s why Obama the “brilliant marketer” will be studied just as closely.