As you might expect, Jon Stewart and CNN commentator Jack Cafferty’s combined act on Monday’s Daily Show consisted of some serious discussion of the economy intermixed with unoriginal jabs at former President George W. Bush’s speech pattern and high praise for the Obamas. Stewart even half-jokingly suggested that if Obama “doesn’t do well,” (perish the thought!), “we can still blame it on Bush” [audio available here].
Cafferty was on the Comedy Central program to promote his new book, “Now or Never.” After the two initially joked about this title and the title of his last book (“It’s Getting Ugly Out There”), the commentator made his first joke about Bush. Stewart asked, “Are you feeling less confident in our ability to pull this out? Is your perspective that we truly are in a nosedive?” Cafferty replied, “I don’t know. You know, I’ve got -- I’ve got some faith, I think, in the new president. He’s capable of making a declarative sentence, a cohesive thought.” When the audience applauded, Stewart quipped, “Big grammar fans.”
The CNN commentator then continued to gush over Obama: “I like Obama. I think he’s a bright guy. He’s a former editor of the Harvard Law Review, former senator, president of the United States, and he goes on The Tonight Show and says, arguably, the stupidest thing he’s ever said in his entire adult life.” Oh, it’s definitely arguable, Jack
Stewart was actually a bit critical of the president: “You know, in terms of the economy. Obama runs on a platform of -- these guys have screwed the country over eight years. We need new leadership....Then the financial bailout as -- these guys have screwed up the financial markets for eight years, let’s let them figure it out. It’s these antithesis of what he ran on.” Cafferty had only one response, which was to continue bashing Bush and his administration: “In fairness though, that first $700 billion -- that was Paulson and the boys under George Bush last fall....Here is $700 billion, and do what you want with it. You know, go camping -- have a nice day.”
Not satisfied with merely knocking on the former president, the commentator then made the predictable Cheney/hunting gag:
STEWART: Now honestly, they wouldn’t go camping. They would go to the Ritz-Carlton.Later, the two discussed the “populist rage” growing in response to the economic situation, and the two combined both elements of their act in a bit of a finale:
CAFFERTY: They’d go hunting --
STEWART: They’re not going to go camping.
CAFFERTY: They’d go hunting -- with Cheney. (laughs)
STEWART: (laughs) Exactly.
STEWART: Is there a stirring up of a populism that feels helpless and therefore, will just become destructive, or is there something constructive in people getting upset? Because Americans when they get upset -- you know, you look at other countries, man --Talk about unsatirizable!
CAFFERTY: Oh yeah!
STEWART When they get upset, they actually go on strike --
CAFFERTY: They go to the streets.
STEWART: They have riots. We just kind of send off e-mails in capital letters, you know? (audience laughs)
CAFFERTY: (laughs) Yeah. In fairness -- in fairness, you know what they did when they got upset? They elected an African-American president. If it hadn’t been for George Bush and Dick Cheney and Rumsfeld and the rest of that cabal of whatever they were for eight years, I don’t think Obama gets in. I think it’s probably Hillary [Clinton], or you know, somebody -- or maybe it’s McCain. I think the outrage at Bush created the opportunity for Obama to be the next president. And I think that was the first indication that people are saying -- okay, we’re going to get actively involved and try to do something different.
STEWART: So if Obama doesn’t do well, we can still blame it on Bush?
CAFFERTY: I think so.
STEWART: You’ve made me a very happy man.
CAFFERTY: Thank you.
STEWART: All right. Because I think, for many folks out there, to not have him to blame is a very uncomfortable position to be in.