It must be liberating to be a lame duck president—especially when you’ve had as terrible a week as Obama.

Obama took to the media this week to express some faux embarrassment about the now-infamous “Iran Letter,” and play down Republican blowback against the idea that what Tom Cotton and the other 46 senators who signed the letter did was somehow “treasonous” or “unprecedented.”

If I were him, I’d cast about for any distraction I could find; he did, and he found it in Jimmy Kimmel. The President stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live this week to talk politics, Ferguson, and read a few mean tweets directed at his office.


The scary part about what’s happening now is that this could very well be Obama’s plan to salvage his presidency. First, he sat down for a YouTube “star”-led interview while Yemen was burning to the ground; now he’s reading mean tweets on Jimmy Kimmel like a Hollywood institution and publicly not giving a damn about actual—albeit “mean”—criticism.

Kimmel has been having his guests read mean tweets for years, but it plays out a bit differently when you’re the President. Check out the normal, “celebrity” version of the bit (curse words bleeped out, but maybe NSFW depending on your office):

When celebrities do it, it’s funny. (And maybe a little sad, if you’re Chris Pratt. I love you, Chris Pratt!) Having the President do this is an entirely different story. “Mean tweets” chosen for the celebrity bit are chosen because they’re ridiculous and irrational. The tweets chosen for Obama have an element of truth to them*: he’s a terrible president (and life hacks aren’t going to fix that); he golfs a lot; prices have gone up; and, to be honest it doesn’t seem like he’s worried at all about what’s happening in the world.

“It’s funny because it’s true” is applicable at first blush, but when it comes down to it, it’s really just sad.

Even Gawker took a shot at the President for this, [Emphasis]:

President Obama spoke out against the police shooting last night in Ferguson and read some Meh Tweets about himself in an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live Thursday.

“What had been happening in Ferguson was oppressive and objectionable and was worthy of protest,” Obama told Kimmel. “But there was no excuse for criminal acts.”

Then the pair apparently gave a warm welcome to noted wife beater Sean Penn.

The fact is, Obama wants you to know that he knows. He also wants you to know that that doesn’t matter to him.

Everybody hurts—and Obama is taking full advantage of that.

*For the record, the ear one was mean; but I won’t stick up for his mom jeans.