President Obama appeared early Wednesday morning on a special Jimmy Fallon show at the University of North Carolina to jawbone Congress because if Congress doesn’t act, the interest on many student loans will double in July. Especially with interest rates on just about all other kinds of loans at record lows, this makes sense. What nobody mentioned on the show is that this is one issue on which Mr. Obama and his Republican opponent in the November election, Mitt Romney, agree.
I’d say this no matter what candidate or office holder appeared. When President Nixon appeared on “Laugh In” saying, “Sock it to me,” it was entertainment even though it may have benefitted his campaign by making Nixon seem more human. When President Obama or any other official or candidate appears on an entertainment show to campaign on issues almost no entertainer is equipped to do anything but a softball interview. That serves the official’s purpose, but it doesn’t contribute much if anything to advance public dialogue.
According to the Associated Press today, “President Obama will headline his first re-election rallies next week, marking an important turning point in the race for the White House, as Republican nominee-in-waiting Mitt Romney intensified efforts to unite his party, and raise money for the battle ahead.
“The president will hit the campaign trail with back-to-back rallies May 5, in Ohio and Virginia, according to an Obama campaign official who requested anonymity to speak ahead of the campaign’s formal announcement.”
His appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s show at the University of North Carolina and a number of his earlier appearances have sure seemed like campaign appearances to me.
Pete Fornatale died this week. I’m told he had a brain aneurism. He was a pioneer in the area of free-form rock FM radio in NY. I only met Mr. Fornatale once. My impression and the impressions of others who actually knew him was that he was a decent man dedicated to his craft and someone his friends and family will miss.
Bob Allen died this month too of pulmonary fibrosis. He lived in the shadow of the World Trade Center when it came down, and Bob blamed the debris plume for his disease, although he was also a heavy smoker for much of his life. Bob was a news broadcaster in Albany NY, on Long Island, and elsewhere. Unless you get to the top, doing that is a tough way to make a living. Like many who practice that trade or profession, Bob went into political and governmental public relations to better support himself and his family. Funeral arrangements, if any, were private so his family didn’t hear from the many people whose lives and careers he affected in a positive way. I’m one of those people. He was associated either directly or indirectly with almost every full-time job I’ve had since I met him, and I miss him.
It’s too bad we can’t find a cure for natural causes. A lot of people die from that every day.