This past Sunday was an extremely important day to me as I am a Wisconsite and I got to enjoy seeing the Green Bay Packers win the Super Bowl championship. But Super Bowl was about more than the Packers versus the Steelers, it was also Obama vs. O’Reilly.
Actually it was a friendly squaring off, much like the real game. I thought it was very interesting to air this during the Super Bowl coverage. But what better way to capture the attention of Americans?
I think it served to give President Obama the air time he loves but it also helped to ramp up Bill O’Reilly’s ratings. I would guess that he has earned himself a few more “Factor” fans.
Egypt was one of the topics and President Obama said that they will not force Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak out of office. We were reminded that he has been an ally of ours for a very long time. While he may be expecting an orderly transition, the protestors have refused to give up. Yet Mubarak isn’t giving up either. So the violence in Egypt continues.
Healthcare was another topic raised. What I found interesting is that O’Reilly asked Obama what he was going to do if it fell apart. But he didn’t really have an answer. He only said what they aren’t going to do and that is to re-fight battles. He seems to think that the “majority” of Americans or at least half of the country stand by his healthcare plan. But polls show otherwise.
Now some believe that President Obama has begun to shift politically, going more toward the center. However, when O’Reilly asked him that, he kind of chuckled and dismissed that notion. But I think most Americans see that he is playing it up and preparing for the next election. If he really is going toward the center it’s to appease a wider span of people. I don’t believe for a second that his views are changing.
I thought O’Reilly was a little bold, and some have accused him of being rude for asking this, but he brought up how some Americans hate Obama. President Obama kind of dismissed that as being a matter of people not really knowing him. Actually, I think that’s exactly why some people hate him…they hate him for what he stands for.
The reality, good or bad, is that we tend to personalize things when it comes to politics, beliefs and values. Instead of hating the value, the idea or the belief we tend to hate the person. I don’t think that is very productive but it is a reality. Every president is hated by some.
In the end it was an interesting interview. I don’t know that we really walked away learning anything new. I think both Obama and O’Reilly got their air time and in the end, they may have gained some new fans. But for the most part when it comes to both of these guys you either hate ‘em or you love ‘em.