After his weekend blitz of heavy-handed, repetitive Sunday-morning-talk-show appearances, President Obama went on David Letterman’s show last night for a little bit of levity — and also to reach people who maybe aren’t up before noon on Sunday mornings. The host asked him about health care, and more notably, about racism — and whether, as Jimmy Carter recently suggested, the recent vitriolic attacks against him are rooted in it. “I was actually black before the election,” Obama pointed out, clearly having saved this line for an appearance where he could get a laugh from a studio audience. “Whenever a president tries to bring about significant changes, particularly in times of economic unease, there is a certain segment of the population that gets very riled up,” he went on, citing FDR and Ronald Reagan as examples. “An overwhelming majority, Republican or Democratic, they just want to see some common sense, some honestly and integrity in Washington,” he said. “I think they’re turned off by all the shouting and the yelling.” Obama also joked about his daughters and how it’ll be difficult for them to bring boyfriends home because of all the men with guns around the house (this joke, we believe, was originally written during the Coolidge administration). He also talked about how Americans are “weary” of war, particularly in Afghanistan, and how his main goal is to get people back into jobs. But the best part by far was when a woman in the audience gave Obama a heart-shaped potato, which he put in his pocket and joked about. (Google Image “heart-shaped potato” and you’ll be surprised at what a phenomenon this really is.) It’s the kind of endearing, real moment that a president is often afforded on the campaign trail, but rarely when he’s in office, and after the weekend he had, it was probably exactly what he needed.
What they did could be a violation of House rules.