Rich: Let’s talk about Obama a bit. You have been a fan. Have you ever met him?
Rock: Yeah, a couple times.
And what did you make of him?
Kind of cool. I always say, cooler than most politicians, not as cool as actual cool people. He’s not cool like Jay Z’s cool. He’s not Eddie Murphy. But in a world of politicians …
When he first came on the scene, we learned he listened to Jay Z. He watched The Wire. Do you think he has had any effect on pop culture?
I’m not sure. I mean, time will tell, and what I mean by “time will tell” is: We’ll see who gets into politics. That’s the real test. In a weird way, him saying he listens to Jay Z — it’s kind of revolutionary, because he’s of the age that he’s supposed to listen to that stuff. And so he’s a little more himself than most politicians. We’ll see if more politicians end up being just themselves.
What do you think of how he’s done? Here we are in the last two years of his presidency, and there’s a sense among his supporters of disappointment, that he’s disengaged.
I’m trying to figure out the right analogy. Everybody wanted Michael Jordan, right? We got Shaq. That’s not a disappointment. You know what I mean? We got Charles Barkley. It’s still a Hall of Fame career. The president should be graded on jobs and peace, and the other stuff is debatable. Do more people have jobs, and is there more peace? I guess there’s a little more peace. Not as much peace as we’d like, but I mean, that’s kind of the gig. I don’t recall anybody leaving on an up. It’s just that kind of job. I mean, the liberals that are against him feel let down because he’s not Bush. And the thing about George Bush is that the kid revolutionized the presidency. How? He was the first president who only served the people who voted for him. He literally operated like a cable network. You know what I mean?
He pandered to his target audience.
He’s the first cable-television president, and the thing liberals don’t like about Obama is that he’s a network guy. He’s kind of Les Moonves.8 He’s trying to get everybody. And I think he’s figured out, and maybe a little late, that there’s some people he’s never going to get.