Why Obama's last appearance on 'The Daily Show' is a must-watch
After spending a whole weekend kicking it with daughters Sasha and Malia in New York City—a visit that included a Broadway show, dinner at the world-famous Carbone, and a midnight tour of the Whitney Museum—President Obama returns to the Big Apple today to make his final appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart before the much beloved host steps down on August 6.
This is the third time, Obama has appeared on the show since his presidency began and the seventh time he’s stopped by since entering the political arena way back in the late 1990s. It’s sure to be a funny, and at times, poignant last appearance for the Commander-In-Chief who will also be stepping down soon.
The issues take center stage whenever the president comes on the show, and that will be no different tonight. But you can always expect a few zingers from Obama, who doesn’t hold back when matching wits with Stewart. Suffice it to say, this is NOT a Daily Show episode you should miss. And just in case you’re on the fence about your plans tonight, consider some of the unforgettable quotes and moments from the president’s past visits.
The last time President Obama dropped by The Daily Show, it was less than a month before the presidential election that would put him in office for a second term. Stewart pulled no punches, asking the president about what caused him to bomb while debating then-Republican nominee Mitt Romney in Denver, Colorado. “Obviously, I had an off-night,” said the president. “The presentation wasn’t the way it needed to be, but the issues haven’t changed…the stakes in this election are really big.”
Zinger: (Stewart jokes about Vice President Biden showing up to meetings in a wet bathing suit). “I had to put out a presidential directive on that…. I got to say, though, he looks pretty good.”
Just ahead of the midterms, which spelled the beginning of the end for the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, Obama appeared on the show hoping to buoy morale.
“Are we the people we were waiting for,” asked Stewart, touching on the unsinkable positivity surrounding Obama’s 2008 election. “Or, does it turn out those people are still out there and we don’t have their number?”
“I’m feeling great about where the American people are considering what we’ve gone through,” said the president. “We’ve gone through the two toughest years of any time since the Great Depression. And in light of that, the fact that people have been resilient…that’s encouraging. But people are frustrated.”
Zinger: (Of the uproarious applause that met Obama when he took the stage.) “It was a wonderful welcome. It does not happen, for example, when I go to the Republican caucus meetings.”
Shortly before the elections that would make him the first African-American to become president, a much more youthful looking Obama appeared on The Daily Show via satellite to raucous applause. Stewart asked how the senator was dealing with the untethered hatred of Republicans and Republican voters.
Zinger: “I think that there’s a certain segment of hardcore Sean Hannity fans that probably wouldn’t want to go have a beer with me, there’s no doubt about that.”
Finally, there’s Obama’s very first appearance on The Daily Show nearly a decade ago to promote the re-publication of his critically-acclaimed memoir, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, and to ride the wave of support following his stirring keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston.
“If Barack Obama was in charge of the Iraq policy,” asked Stewart, touching on then-President Bush’s War on Terrorism. “What would he be doing right now?”
“Well, Iraq is sort of a situation where you’ve got a guy who drove the bus into the ditch,” said Obama. “You obviously have to get the bus out of the ditch, and that’s not easy to do, although you probably should fire the driver.”
Because of a last minute healthcare-related vote, Obama wasn’t able to do the interview in person.
Zinger: “My staff figured I should go ahead and be on the Jon Stewart show anyway, but I thought maybe healthcare for the American people was a little more important.”
(Images via Comedy Centeral)