Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you know that President Obama appeared last night on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. It was a big deal. A sitting president has never done that before. And, of course, everyone has an opinion.
It wasn't a mistake for him to schedule the appearance and, in retrospect, it went well. The only gaffe came when the president compared his bowling ability to the Special Olympics.
So, does this mean that sitting presidents now have to do the late night circuit? No, and we can all learn a lesson. Every media appearance and speaking opportunity for any spokesperson or chief executive needs to be judged in terms of importance and weighed against the person's ability to handle the situation. Obama did well because he thinks on his feet and doesn't seem to have to rely on thoroughly canned talking points. Also, he's usually rather funny.
Imagine if President Bush had tried the same.
Bottom line: it went well and it was a positive experience. As my favorite television president says, "What's next?"