Obama’s humor keeps young people engaged


Image courtesy of the White House Twitter

This Tweet, which references two popular shows, Game of Thrones and The West Wing, is an example of the humor the Obama administration uses.

By Ariel Levchenko, Online Opinions Editor

“These days, the House Republicans actually give John Boehner a harder time than they give me, which means orange really is the new black.”

This was a quote by President Obama at the 2014 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and actually probably his best joke of the night, which isn’t to say that he had a lot of bombs, but the pop-cultural reference was the one that worked the best.

Before we get any deeper into this article however, I have to make the following disclaimer: I am not advocating Obama’s policies. I’m not saying that he’s a good President or a bad one, I’m not commenting on that at all. What I am saying is that without a doubt, he’s the funniest one.

Now, being funny isn’t exactly a prerequisite for being President, but then again it sort of is. A President must be charismatic and must be able to inspire, but over the years the Presidency has lost impact with one of the core demographics of this country – young people.

Young people don’t care about or watch Fox, or MSNBC, or CNN. They get their news from the trending part of Facebook, from the Huffington Post, and from various semi-comedic shows, like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the now-cancelled Cobert Report, and others like that.

This is good – the president going on the Colbert Report and doing “The Decree” is more than just funny (though it is very funny), it’s informative and engaging. It gets young people, the ones who couldn’t care less about the political process if they tried, involved, and that’s not a knock against young people.

A lot of teenagers don’t trust the political system, they don’t trust the media, and they find the presidency uptight. So when the President goes on Between Two Ferns and spends ten minutes exchanging jokes with Zach Galifianakis and insulting the Hangover movies, it makes him talking about the Affordable Care Act much more palatable, and that’s excellent.

When the President went on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and outlined why he was a successful President, I cared a lot more, and I liked it a lot more than watching a boring debate with Romney sweating all over the place. When Key acts as the real Obama’s anger translator, I laugh, and I then I go and look up what the President is actually talking about, and I get informed.

I’m the kind of boring person that wants to talk about budget deficits and immigration policy, but most kids my age have something you may have heard of – it’s called a life. They have stuff they’d rather be doing, but they still need to understand what’s going on in the government. So, if the President wants to crack a few jokes to get people informed, well, I’m on board.