President Obama appeared on The Ellen Degeneres Show to pitch healthcare to young adults and moms. Ellen took the opportunity to gloat over having the most retweeted tweet of all time, thanks to her star-studded Oscar selfie.
"I don't know if you know this, but I was aiming to break your record of retweets, and I apologize for doing it, but I broke your retweet record," she said. The president was not impressed. "I heard about that," he said. "I thought it was a pretty cheap stunt myself, getting a bunch of celebrities in the background."
It was a fairly awkward interview, sort of like when you get stuck talking to your friend's dad. They talked about the president's trip to the Gap ("I thought they were pretty nice sweaters," Obama said), his family's trip to China ("I'm stuck with two dogs. I'm expected to walk them, and do what you do when you walk dogs") and Scandal ("I haven't watched Scandal yet, but Michelle has watched Scandal.") He only really lit up when talking about healthcare, the primary reason he was there.
The stop was one in a series of recent meetings and interviews with people who the White House hopes can help make the issue go viral. As The New York Times pointed out, he's also met with a series of YouTube stars, as well as called in to radio shows geared toward black and Hispanic audiences. While DeGeneres' show hits the moms and young adults demographic, there's been a lot of emphasis on reaching young adult males through March Madness and sports-related appearances.
In addition to repeating the March 31 deadline several times, the president emphasized that the website works, and encouraged people who don't like him to try it out. "People will be pleasantly surprised," he said. "I've got a lot of folks who write me letters saying 'I didn't vote for you, and I'm pretty skeptical about Obamacare and I heard about all the problems on the website, but when I actually signed up it turns out that I'm saving a hundred bucks.'"
But at least a few people who didn't vote for him still aren't impressed. "The president is reduced to working the talk show circuit like a B-lister promoting a cable pilot," Breitbart wrote, "and he could always visit old pal Jimmy Fallon and 'slow jam' the news before midnight strikes." Maybe not a bad idea.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.