There's a time and a place for most things, but...
Humor is one of my favorite things in life. Lord knows I love a good joke. Lord also knows I've frequently been humorous at the wrong moment and the wrong place. I routinely insert my proverbial foot in my not-so-proverbial mouth.
But I'm not the leader of the free world.
President Barack Obama
starred in a comedic video produced by Buzzfeed to encourage Obamacare enrollment with a February 15 deadline looming to sign-up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
I get it. The video represents another bid by the White House messaging team to reach the elusive Millennials*
that feed off Twitter
, Instagram, and every other social media excuse for non-human interaction.
[*Millennials (also known as the Millennial Generation or Generation Y) are the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates when the generation starts and ends. Researchers and commentators use birth years ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.]
. I dabble with Instagram
too. I get that too.
The video seen here and on the Healthcare.gov
promoting site(s) is simply bad timing, and a so incredibly un-Presidential at this critical moment, it borders on building a Mosque at the World Trade Center
ground zero site. It is simply bad taste, bad timing, and inappropriate.
In all fairness, it's worth noting that an off the cuff remark in jest, after a press conference or at a dinner, or somewhere informal (when appropriate) is acceptable. Many (if not all) presidents surely enjoy levity and I imagine its necessary for them to keep their sanity while under such enormous stress. Presidential historian Anthony Bergen
could likely list hundreds of Presidential stand up's.
But this wasn't that. This video message was from The President and was pushing his healthcare agenda. Whatever your position on Obamacare
, the healthcare coverage issue is clearly of great importance. A humorous video is an amazing idea and yes we should reach out using Buzzfeed, horse feed, and any other feed... Just don't formally strip the Office of the President
of any more dignity when we are at war with those who see our ideologies as cause for murder. Don't make jokes, as The President
, so close to recent national tragedies, beheadings, burnings, and heroic loss of life.
To the Office of the President: You are the one person I expect perfection from, without fail. Please act Presidential.