After his first presidential appearance, Obama took flak from critics who said he was disparaging the office by sitting down with Leno. Then-spokesman Robert Gibbs responded by saying that the show simply gave Obama a “unique audience” to which to deliver his message.
Many PR people will remember Obama’s quip on the show in 2009 when he compared his poor bowling to the Special Olympics (the White House Deputy Press Secretary issued an apology before the episode even aired). When Obama again set down with Leno on Tuesday, weighing in on everything from Libya to the NBA lockout, he committed no such gaffe. In fact, President looked much the same as he did in 2009, albeit with significantly more gray hair.
Obama won the 2008 election in large part because of an immense grassroots movement often coordinated by social media. He transformed YouTube into the fireside chat of the 21st century.