“Yes we can, but…”
I thought he was great, but…
At one point, Stewart asked the president if he was now operating on the principle of “Yes, we can, with certain conditions.”
Obama replied, “I think I would say, ‘Yes we can, but–‘”
That drew laughter from the 550-strong audience that packed DC’s Harman Center for the Arts. It was the first time that a sitting president appeared on the Daily Show, though Obama appeared on the show during his 2008 campaign.
If that wasn’t enough, there was the Heckuva Job Larry line:
President Barack Obama…gave a shout-out to Lawrence Summers – one the outgoing director of the White House National Economic Council probably could have done without.
Mr. Summers did “a heckuva job,” Mr. Obama said. Mr. Stewart quickly admonished: “You don’t want to use that phrase, dude.”
The reference, of course, was to former President George W. Bush’s praise of then-FEMA director Michael Brown’s management of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts – a job widely considered bungled.
Going forward the president promised get rid of the filibuster, change campaign finance and fix gerrymandering. The interview went long and apparently well enough that Daily Show producers decided to drop the haha introduction in which Stewart twiddles his thumbs while making the president wait and introduces him as “Austan Goolsbee’s boss.”
Dana Milbank says “the joke was on President Obama Wednesday night.” But Hank Stuever wonders if “anyone in Elitistland [is] allowed to say we are slightly tired of [Jon Stewart] and his shrugs, his mock gasps, his pretend girly-man squeaks of excitement in the promo touting the Obama interview?” And Alessandra Stanley suggests that “a political satirist loses credibility when hobnobbing with a sitting president.”
This was the first time the entire show was made up of a single interview: