Chuck Todd is the author of a new book about Barack Obama, but that just made him the butt of Obama’s jokes Saturday, when the president quipped, “He’s so sad,” after spying a copy of Todd’s book in a local Washington D.C. bookstore.
Obama took his two daughters to the Politics and Prose Bookstore, not far from the White House, to mark Small Business Saturday, a day in which consumers are encouraged to make a point of patronizing local, small businesses — rather than the giant, national and multi-national chains, and online mega-stores that dominate the post-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy.
Last year, Obama also paid a visit to the neighborhood bookstore to restock the shelves of his personal library and purchase books as Christmas gifts.
This year, however, as seen in the unedited video above, Obama was checking out a stack of books when, on display behind the counter, he spied a copy of the new Chuck Todd book, The Stranger: Barack Obama in the White House.
The cover of the book displays a lone, sullen-looking Obama walking with his head down and hands in his pockets.
After Obama joked that he looked “lonely” on the cover, his older daughter, Malia, asked, “How is he already writing a book?”
“He’s so sad,” quipped Obama, with a smile, presumably referring to Todd.
Malia Obama then added that The Stranger “looks like a sad book.”
Obama then passed his credit card to the bookstore clerk to pay for a stack of 17 books, and jokingly said, “I hope it works!”
Todd may indeed be sad these days. As the New York Post noted in its story on the “sad” comments by Obama, since taking over as host of NBC’s Sunday morning flagship Meet the Press program, Todd has failed to boost the ratings of the once-mighty political franchise.
Even an exclusive interview with Obama himself — the very man who is the target of what one reviewer called a “stinging indictment” in Todd’s book — did not boost Todd’s ratings significantly.
Chuck Todd might also be feeling sad about the reviews his Obama book has received in many quarters. The Columbia Journalism Review called The Stranger “a disappointing book, a slab of pedestrian punditry marbled with occasional insight.”
Customers on the book’s Amazon.com page have not been much kinder, giving the book only two stars out of five.
“I don’t know which is worse — his flat and cliché-ridden prose, his haphazard organization of his materials, or his unaccountable confidence that somehow through all his mess he’s shedding light,” said one reader on Amazon.
“This weak effort diminished my impression of the author’s knowledge and ability,” said another, after reading the “sad” Chuck Todd book about Barack Obama.