With the celebrity-filled White House Correspondents' Association dinner coming up on Saturday, a conservative political action committee is having some fun at President Obama's expense.
American Crossroads, the "super PAC" associated with co-founder and GOP strategist Karl Rove, has released a web video entitled "Cool" which portays Obama as a shallow celebrity whose presidency has failed young people.
The video shows scenes of Obama immersed in the hip world of entertainment, such as slow-jamming on the Jimmy Fallon late-night television show this week, dancing with TV host Ellen DeGeneres, and calling singer Kanye West a "jackass." He is also shown wearing shades, adjusting 3-D glasses, and singing a soulful tune.
At the end of the video, it's pointed out that 85 percent of recent college graduates now live with their parents; one out of two recent grads are jobless or under-employed, and many graduates have massive debt from their student loans.
The concluding line, flashed on the screen, says, "After four years of a celebrity president, is your life any better?"
The video is part of an effort by both the Republicans and the Obama re-election campaign to appeal to young people, who were a key part of Obama's winning coalition in the 2008 election.
American Crossroads strategists apparently realized that Obama will be surrounded by celebrities at the WHCA dinner Saturday night, generating intense media coverage, so it would be a good time to try using his hipness against him. Obama is also planning to appear at college campuses in Ohio and Virginia next week to help mobilize young voters.
Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News & World Report and writes a daily blog, "Ken Walsh's Washington." He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, at Kenneth Walsh on Facebook, and on Twitter.