Nearly Six Million Views on Obama's WHCA Jokes
BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, May 3 2011
Barack Obama is having a history-making week in yet another way.
On Saturday night, President Obama delivered a humorous speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner at the same time, we now know, he was overseeing the operation that would lead to the death of Osama bin Laden. Obama got big laughs from the crowd. "My fellow Americans, mahalo," he opened, before poking fun at everyone from Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, and his potential 2012 rivals. He planted idea that that Minnesota Republican Michelle Bachmann was born in Canada -- "Yes, Michelle, this is how it starts" -- dinged Mitt Romney for the rumor that he passed universal health care in Massachusetts, and complimented Donald Trump for having the courage to, when push came to shove, fire Gary Busey from "The Celebrity Apprentice."
YouTube's Kevin Allocca points out that the 19-minute video of that speech is bringing in historic numbers. "Looking back at the viewing data since 2008, there are few other speeches overall that have more views," writes Alloca. "In general, views for CSPAN YouTube videos hit an all-time high on Sunday, 4.4 million views, which were mostly for that speech. That's roughly double the previous high from January 20th, 2009, Barack Obama's inauguration day." The views on Obama's WHCA performance are now just under 6 million. That's a multiple of previous recent WHCA presidential speeches. But another point of comparison: Obama's 2008 race speech from the campaign has been viewed 6.7 million times on YouTube in the three years it has been up.
Also pulling in major numbers for Obama online: that quickly becoming iconic Pete Souza photo from the Situation Room as Obama and other administration figures pursued bin Laden. It's pulled in 1.4 million views since it was posted Sunday.