Posted tagged ‘Obama Leno’

President Obama ‘Stunned’ by AIG Bonuses

March 20, 2009

Hey…so was I!

President Barack Obama said last night on “The Tonight Show” that he was stunned to hear about the $165 million in bonuses that were paid to employees of troubled insurer AIG over the weekend.

He has promised to do everything he could to get these bonuses back.

From NBC News:

“These financial industries are holding us hostage,” Obama said in an interview on NBC’s “Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” which NBC said was the first time a sitting president had been a guest on a late-night talk show.

Obama said the AIG payments raised moral and ethical problems, but he stressed that the bigger problem was the culture that allowed traders to claim them.

“We need to get back to a place where people know enough is enough,” he said. “If we can get back to those values that built America, then we’ll be OK.”

Obama used the visit as an opportunity to defend Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who has been sharply criticized for his handling of the AIG controversy. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., called for Geithner to resign Thursday afternoon.

But Obama said Geithner was doing an “outstanding job,” handling a full plate with grace and good humor.

“He is a smart guy. He is a calm and steady guy,” Obama said. “I don’t think people fully appreciate the plate that was handed him.”

Listing the recession, the banking crisis and the need to coordinate with other countries, Obama acknowledged that Geithner was “on the hot seat.” But he said too many in Washington were trying to figure out whom to blame when they should be focused on fixing the problems.

“Look, I’m the president. Ultimately, it’s my responsibility,” Obama said. “If I’m not giving [Geithner] the tools he needs, it’s on me.”

Barack Obama to Appear on Tonight Show Tonight

March 19, 2009

Guests on “The Tonight Show” and “Late Night With David Letterman” usually appear to promote a movie, TV show, book or album.

But, tonight will be different.

President Obama will visit the NBC “Tonight Show” tonight to make the case for his financial rescue plans.

From CNN:

While presidential candidates — as far back as Richard Nixon’s performance on “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” in 1968 — have used comedy shows for campaigning, Obama becomes the first sitting president to appear.

“We don’t look at it as the process of demonstrating the president’s sense of humor,” said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs. “We look at it as a way of discussing the economic situation that we find ourselves in.”

Obama will tape the show Thursday afternoon during a two-day swing through the Los Angeles area for town hall meetings focusing on the economy, Gibbs said.

There’s some political risk for Obama, according to Washington Post media columnist Howard Kurtz, who also hosts CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”

“He has to be very careful about his tone, because if he yuks it up too much and seems to be having too good a time, it will be quite a contrast there with the pain the people are feeling with the crumbling economy,” Kurtz said.

Barack Obama to Appear on Tonight Show

March 16, 2009

President Barack Obama will be making a guest appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on this coming Thursday.

This should be a fun one to watch! I’ll have to set up the DVR!

From the New York Times:

Mr. Obama will swing by the Leno show as part of his trip to southern California. The White House official said that Mr. Obama plans to talk about the economy with Mr. Leno and said he will try to focus on substance, possibly a tall task given the show’s format.

Will he be funny? “As funny as the times allow,” the official said.

Presidential candidates often appear on television shows when they’re trying to get elected, but once successful, it is rare to find a commander in chief appearing on TV shows except as joke fodder. President Bush did show up on NBC’s “Deal or No Deal” last year, but it was in a taped appearance in which he voiced support for a contestant who had served three tours of duty in Iraq.