On-the-air prez seems like endless ‘infomercial’
During his first eight months in office, President Obama has sat down for three times as many television interviews as his most recent two predecessors combined.
« He’s turning the presidency into an infomercial, » warned former White House speechwriter Matt Latimer. « It’s not just damaging to the White House. It will also ultimately hurt President Obama’s image as a fresh, non-Washington leader. »
As of mid-August, Obama submitted to a total of 66 television interviews, dramatically outstripping his two predecessors, according to Martha Joynt Kumar, director of the White House Transition Project at Towson University in Maryland. During the same period of their own presidencies, President George W. Bush gave 16 television interviews and President Bill Clinton gave just six.
Obama is also out-hustling his predecessors with the print media, giving 36 interviews with newspapers and magazines during his first seven months in office — nearly doubling the numbers given by Bush and Clinton.