Talk Show Appearances Could Hurt Huck and Hill
Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is flying to Los Angeles later today to make a guest appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Similarly, Democrat Hillary Clinton will make an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman. For several reasons, I believe these candidates’ decisions to appear on the late night talks shows were wrong:
First, leaving Iowa 24 hours ahead of the caucus to make a national television appearance might be received in the wrong light by voters in the Hawkeye State. Iowans seem to place great value upon candidates who make — and maintain — their presence in the state up until the ballots are cast.
Second, the candidates’ appearances on NBC’s Leno and CBS’s Letterman programs, respectively, could be perceived as swipes against labor unions (see The Caucus blog for a lengthy consideration of this possibility). Though both programs’ executives reached agreements with the Writers Guild of America to relaunch the shows, the vast majority of members belonging to the film and television writers union remain on strike, out of work. In reality, though, the possibility of a union backlash against Hill is much greater than that against Huck, since Hill is a liberal Democrat.
Third, there’s a good chance both programs will draw smaller-than-expected audiences due to the fact that many Americans disconnected with the political process will be unaware that Leno and Letterman are back on the air tonight. I only found out about the appearances this afternoon!
Finally, if the game is close — and it could be — and either team, the Oklahoma Sooners or West Virginia Mountaineers, is forced to rely heavily upon a passing game to move the ball up and down the field, the game could easily extend past midnight Eastern time. That would mean that a large number of Americans will be tuned in to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on Fox instead. Translation: A long game means fewer viewers for Huck, Hill, Jay and Dave.
In closing, I guarantee one thing: This blogger will be watching the ball game and saying “Boomer Sooner!” if any scheduling conflict develops. If I really need to see the candidates’ appearances, I can watch them later on YouTube.