When Sesame Street founder Joan Ganz Cooney meets politicians, they usually tell her that their kids watch the show. But not Barack Obama. An enthusiastic Obama gushed about watching the show when he was a child. “I realized that this is the first President young enough to say that,” Cooney told Nancy Gibbs of Time. In fact, Grover and the gang have their fingerprints all over Obama, Gibbs writes.
Sesame Street is, for one thing, deeply empathetic and racially integrated, a perfect fit for “our blender in chief.” But there’s also something very cerebral about the show, which originated as a psychology experiment, and routinely consults linguists, nutritionists and development experts—much in the way Obama prefers data-driven, well-advised decisions. And like Sesame Street, Obama hasn’t shied away from hard conversations. “Professor Obama has talked to us like we’re adults.”