Commentary: Obama’s 15 months of fame wanes

Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 11:45pm
By Katharine DeBrecht

When President Obama appeared on The Jay Leno Show in March, one of his myriad and unprecedented appearances by a U.S. president, he said that Washington was a “little bit like American Idol… where everybody’s got an opinion.” Hmmm. Maybe we need an Idol Czar.

Obama is banking on American Idol status to save his presidency much in the same way he rose to the office; not because of a single accomplishment — he has none except for saddling generations with debt and creating or saving the number of people in the unemployment line — but because of speeches. I am sure Bernie Madoff is suffering from teleprompter envy.

The President is like a child TV star who rose to fame because he eloquently delivered a cute catchphrase (“Hope and Change” as opposed to “Hey, Mikey! He likes it!”), but now finds himself an adolescent in a grown-up world and faced with the task of actually manning up to the responsibilities of a new job for which he applied.

Yet, instead of stepping up to the plate, Obama is relying merely on his celebrity status to coast through the sometimes ceremonial and often dire decisions a chief executive must make.

Since January, Obama has turned the 24-hour news cycle into Obama TV. When Sen. Kit Bond joked that Obama has appeared on every network except the Food Network, heads must have rolled in the White House for missing that gig. Not to worry: First Lady Michelle is going to appear on Iron Chef America in January. After all, Baramichelle is still very much key to the Obama brand. Their date night in New York City had the paparazzi salivating over the extravagant evening footed by taxpayers suffering in a deep recession (Let them eat crème brûlée).

I wonder if President Obama’s 15 months of fame is finally tapering off. His job approval ratings are at new lows, as well as approval for his handling of just about every issue concerning Americans. Der Spiegel ripped his speech on Afghanistan saying “Obama’s magic no longer works” and his trip to China looked less Kissinger-esque and more like I Survived a Chinese Game Show.

Even the left is getting a little tired of O-TV. In June, Bill Maher commented on his HBO show, “I don’t want my president to be a TV star.” Maher went on, “You're the president, not a rerun of Law & Order.”

After the dithering on Afghanistan, millions of jobs lost since January and failure to reach bipartisan support on his signature issue, healthcare, it appears that rather than Law & Order, what we are seeing from this White House is more like Saved by the Bell.

Perhaps in typical celebrity mindset, the waning J-Lo-in-Chief needs a little scandal diversion. Which makes me wonder what is really behind the gatecrashers scandal. After all, this Administration seems to be obsessed with reality TV. The Biggest Loser was filmed in the White House garden, a promo for America’s Got Talent was shot on the White House lawn, and Michelle’s hairstylist landed a spot in a reality show.

I hate to say it, but we will probably be seeing more of the plastic sound bites and hype in an attempt to save his image and sell his unpopular policies. Where is the Shamwow guy when he needs him? An Obama/Oprah holiday special is already scheduled and I am sure there are many more to come, hopefully not pre-empting A Charlie Brown Christmas again. The only show I would like to see the King of Photo-op on is “My Big Fat Obnoxious Deficit.”


DeBrecht is the author of the popular Help! Mom! Children’s book series and is a frequent guest on Fox News. Contact her at

17 Comments on this post:

By: HokeyPokey on 12/9/09 at 7:48

"DeBrecht is [...] a frequent guest on Fox News."

Wink-wink, nudge-nudge, say no more, say no more.

By: Anna3 on 12/9/09 at 8:02

Hokey Pokey is a Democratic shill and operative while also working in the Obama campaign.

By: govskeptic on 12/9/09 at 8:10

"O-TV" I love that! Between delivering TV speeches and
preparing for them along with travel to and from, I don't see
where the man has time to even truly consider even the
simplest elements that are included in same!

By: Loner on 12/9/09 at 8:19

Let there be no doubt, Ms. DeBrecht has spent a lot of time in front of the boob toob. If the topic is "popular TV shows", she excels.

Her creative writing skills are less honed. This missive is full of platitudes, false analogies and ad hominem. This commentary is like a stale slice of fruitcake with a sarcastic drizzle, as the icing.

This FOX news "fox" neglected to mention the fact that when George Bush handed Obama the reins of power, he was left to deal with two unresolved wars, GITMO, a health care crisis, a financial meltdown and an economy in free fall. Considering all that, President Obama has done quite well.

By: pswindle on 12/9/09 at 9:33

How quickly we forget. President Obama had one great mess to clean up after Bush/Cheney. A lesser man than Prsident Obama would have let this country fall in a great depression. He has done what had to be done and that is to save our country. The people lost everythig during the Bush?Cheney area. TN will pay dearly for not voting forr our own Al Gore. I will say for certain, we would not be in two wars and the country would not be bankruptcy. The people of TN listened to the media and Gore haters, and you believed the lies and untruths.

By: shinestx on 12/9/09 at 9:33

Pokey needs to look at the ratings for FNS vs. all its other competitors combined. Blows the others away in viewers and does it with a higher educated/higher income earning audience (who typically work longer hours a day). Don't expect a mind as small as Pokey's to actually tune in. Of course, if he did that he might actually learn something. I guess in Pokey's little world, debate, dissent and disagreement should be eliminated completely. Keep watching those group-think "progressive" leftist cable channels Pokey.

By: shinestx on 12/9/09 at 9:43

You tools for Obama and the "progressive" leftist Pelosiveks are typical. That list of "blame Bush" keeps growing, even though B.O. has been in office nearly a year now. So now Loner blames Bush for healthcare... watch out buddy, if you think Americans will blame him for that, you ain't seen nothing yet. Also, Americans know that this economy is all the Dem-wits, and they're fighting mad b/c they ignored the economy in order to ram through an unwanted healthcare debacle (and that's what it will be). Okay, so you blame Bush for GITMO... then I blame B.O. and the Dem-wits for bringing them into this country and giving them the same habeas rights as American citizens (see who wins that argument). Oh, and when it comes to the only thing that has been done to resolve the economy in the last year (unlike the Dem-wits' PORKULUS, er what'd they call it? "Stimulus" LOL).... the only thing to work was in fact TARP, which was devised by Bush. B.O. knew that when he went in front of the cameras this past week to claim all the credit while he trashed Bush at the same time... I guess he gets away with that on MissNBC. Absolutely no class for this boi-prezizzle to go out and trash his predecessor (Dem-wits do that habitually). Oh, and you probably believed B.O. when he said that the bank repayments would be used to "pay down" the deficit... a deficit which B.O. has quadrupled in less than 12 months. You may think that Bush wrecked the economy (with his Dem-wit-led Congress), but you ain't seen nothing yet.

By: shinestx on 12/9/09 at 9:47

Oh, and by the way... all you dem-witted O'bots who point out that Debrecht appears on Fox News should in some way discredit her... I watch the station regularly, but I've never even heard of her. Now you can return to MissNBC and get your "balanced" information from the likes of Chris Matthews ("tingles down my leg") and Keith Olbermann (obsessive anti-conservative hate speech).

By: Loner on 12/9/09 at 4:35

Calm down, shineboy. Long-winded, name-calling, passionate rants, like yours, do not impress or intimidate me. if you would like to debate me, bring it on...I frequent the (NCP) LTE boards. Shalom!

By: dooley on 12/10/09 at 5:48

"Obama is banking on American Idol status to save his presidency much in the same way he rose to the office '".

Obama rose to office because the Republicans didn't have a candidate and we needed a president of quality.

By: dooley on 12/10/09 at 5:51


By: HokeyPokey on 12/10/09 at 7:39

Clearly, there is only one way out of this leadership mess.

Submitted for your consideration:

By: 2476 on 12/10/09 at 7:51

Loner>> your shalom makes you sound as though you could be a liberal-left wing muslim, who is as confused as Obat and his 15 months of fame on all the liberal news outlets. This is not the previous administration's baby anymore, as he has been trying to serve as president for 15 months now. his handling of this country during this time seems like he is getting his guidance from Pastor Wright ( remember him Loner ).

By: willt on 12/10/09 at 8:23

I can add little to this conversation and do not side with either GOP or the DNC....I say 2010 is coming, flush the bowl and lose both sides of the toilet which has become a health reform plan nobody wants but is having stuck in our "pie holes". Tennesseans did not vote for Gore and thank goodness they didn't because neither trust nor experience has shown us to do differently! There will be a day soon when an accounting will be made and this administration will be exposed for the fools that they are....What is occurring now is far beyond the US Constitution and Washington DC has overstepped it's authority. GW did a lot to hurt this nation and dug in the hole that Carter, Clinton and now Obama have added too. It's time to start over: on health reform, senate and house and above all, STOP THIS INSANE SPENDING!!!!!

By: willt on 12/10/09 at 8:58

On Obama and his Administration...."Let his days be few; and let another take his office. "PSALM 109:8,

By: pswindle on 12/10/09 at 10:41

Where were you (GOP) when Bush was destroying our country with lies and wars?
Bush could not stay away from his ranch in Crawford, Texas. The last 6 to 9 months of his being in office, he hid, and he only came out of hiding when someone was there to hold him up. TN deserves what it gets for going for such a bone-head. Bush was a dry-drunk and he could not think or make decisions. He let evil Cheney call the shots. But little Bushy wanted to go after Iraq because his daddy did not finish the job.

By: 2476 on 12/10/09 at 12:49

Well one thing you can say for certainty, is that Obammy needs to go back to the corrupt city of Chicago and hide. Then maybe we won't have to see or hear from him again. It will give him time to search and find his birth certificate.