Increasingly overshadowed by the presidential campaign, George W. Bush got a bit of exposure last night—on a TV game show. The commander-in-chief appeared via satellite on Deal or No Deal to root for a soldier back from Iraq who was gunning for a million dollars in a suitcase, reports Reuters. "I’m thrilled to be anywhere with high ratings these days," joked the president.
Writing in the New York Times, critic Alessandra Stanley notes that, even more than Barack's bowling efforts or Hillary's beer-and-whiskey jag, a television appearance offers politicians "a free platform to rub shoulders with viewers who only glancingly pay attention to the news." Bush's Deal or No Deal stint is only the latest "macropopulist" gesture in a political arena where elitism has become what "communism was to 1950s politics: a career breaker."