On ABC's The View Tuesday, Obama made news by correctly answering a question about the Kardashians -- and people were impressed: how could the president possibly know about the Kardashians?! But the real question should be: has Obama ever not answered a pop culture question? For as much as President Obama talks about how he's not cool anymore -- how his hair is gray and his face is wrinkly -- he can't resist any opportunity to establish his coolness bona fides by answering every single pop culture question he's asked.
This is latest pop culture quiz Obama has passed, as administed by The View's Joy Behar:
Behar: Which Kardashian was married for only 72 days?
Obama: That would be Kim. Because he was a ball player. I know he was a ball player. That’s how I know, from watching basketball...
Behar: What’s the controversial sex book that’s on millions of women’s bedside tables?
Obama: I don’t know that. [Answer: Fifty Shades of Grey]
The audience cheered when he named Kim Kardashian, but they shouldn't have been so surprised.
In just the second month of his presidency, Obama pointed out to Matt Lauer on the Today show that he'd been cropped out of a First Family photo on the cover of Us Weekly in favor of an unflattering photo of Jessica Simpson, "who’s in a weight battle apparently." In September 2009, he was caught on tape speaking passionately about the Kanye West vs. Taylor Swift incident at the MTV Video Music Awards. "Why'd [Kanye] do that?" a reporter asked. "He's a jackass," Obama replied. The next year, he told Rolling Stone that he had Nas, Jay-Z, and Lil Wayne on his iPod, not to mention, for the sake of the magazine's old fart readers, Bob Dylan. The Atlantic's David Samuels reports this month on Obama's relatively lengthy discussion of his music taste:
Samuels: Kanye or Jay-Z?
Obama: Jay-Z. [Samuels reports a duh is implied.] Although I like Kanye. He’s a Chicago guy. Smart. He’s very talented.
Samuels: Even though you called him a jackass?
Obama: He is a jackass. But he’s talented.
Even in the "serious" portion of the View interview, Obama made it clear he follows all the silly stuff on the Internet. Asked if the election would be tight, he said, "When your name is Barack Hussein Obama, it's always tight."
Update: Obama made a few more pop culture/young person references on the View. Not only did he not know about 50 Shades of Gray -- "Ill ask Michelle when I get home" -- he didn't even know Jessica Simpson had had a baby. His kids like Modern Family, he says, and he DVRs Mad Men and Homeland. The president even snacks like a college student: "I am big on guacamole and salsa and chips... and french fries always works."