When: 11 a.m. Thursday
When the United States was in the midst of the Great Depression, then President Franklin D. Roosevelt took to the radio waves to keep Americans abreast of what was happening.
By harnessing the power of the popular entertainment tool, Roosevelt was able to inform, entertain and encourage listeners. According to the University of Virginia’s Scripps Library Presidential Speech Archives, Roosevelt’s dozens of “fireside chats” covered topics like economic progress, the recession and unemployment.
Fast forward more than 70 years later to another democratic president taking to a popular entertainment medium to address the American public.
On Thursday, President Barack Obama is expected to make an appearance on ABC’s “The View.” According to the show’s staff, it will mark the first time that a current U.S. president has ever made an appearance on a daytime TV show.
Like Roosevelt, Obama is expected to discuss economic recovery, unemployment and other issues.
“I think it’s good for the president to be in different settings — everything doesn’t have to be so formal all of the time,” said Joy Fields, a Gainesville resident.
“Not everyone watches official, presidential addresses anyway, so this is a good way to reach some people who might miss his message otherwise.”
While some people are in support of his television appearances, others say the president should be focusing on issues like economic recovery and the Gulf Coast oil spill.
“While he’s getting his makeup done so he looks good on TV, I bet he isn’t worried about the oil spill, health care or anything else important for that matter,” said Jenny Washington, a Gainesville resident.
“I think he forgets that he’s the president of the United States and not a Hollywood celebrity. He spends too much time commenting on things that don’t matter like college sports and worrying about his next TV appearance.”
In 2009, Obama also made appearances on NBC’s “The Tonight Show” and the “Late Show” on CBS. He’s also had several on-air interviews with Oprah Winfrey.
“He is the leader of the free world, not a rock star,” said Paul Daniels, a Buford resident.
“Maybe if he spent more time behind his desk in the Oval Office instead of in front of the camera, he could work on some of that change that he talked about when he was campaigning.”
Obama’s appearance on “The View” will air at 11 a.m. Thursday on ABC.
“I’m going to watch it — I’m interested in seeing what he has to say,” said Reva Pitts, a Cumming resident.
“It doesn’t matter to me if he’s on ‘The View,’ Air Force One or the White House lawn. When the president talks, I want to listen.”