Daytime Diplomacy

“We shouldn’t be campaigning all the time,” President Obama said on “The View,” during an interview that looked and sounded a lot like a campaign appearance.

Mr. Obama answered questions about Afghanistan and unemployment and also talked about vacationing in Maine with his children and his wife, Michelle. He addressed the economy and joked about pop culture, making entertainment news headlines by confessing he didn’t know who Snooki is. (“Jersey Shore.”)

In short, he stepped out of the political vortex to score a political point. The president’s good-humored appearance on “The View,” taped on Wednesday and broadcast on Thursday, wasn’t just another step in the blurring of news and entertainment. It was also another example of how politicians increasingly co-opt entertainment shows to make news.

It was his third visit with the all-female panel of hosts, but Mr. Obama is the first sitting president to appear on a daytime talk show — a momentous enough occasion to lure Barbara Walters, on leave to recover from heart surgery, back to the couch. Judging from her guest’s smooth performance — and enthusiastic welcome — Mr. Obama will almost certainly not be the last president to appear on a daytime talk show.


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