Obama Talks HealthCare, ‘Between Two Ferns’ and ‘Mom Jeans’

Mar 14, 2014 12:21pm

AP obama gap sk 140311 16x9 608 Obama Talks HealthCare, Between Two Ferns and Mom Jeans

Credit: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo

President Obama called into Ryan Seacrest’s radio show today to urge young people to sign up for health insurance — part of his ongoing push to reach the critical demographic ahead of the looming March 31 deadline.

“You never know what kind of curveballs life throws at you,” Obama said. “If you get into an accident, or heaven forbid, have an illness or someone in your family does and you do not have health insurance, it can bankrupt you or you may not get the treatment you need.

“And for a relatively modest cost there are millions of people who have already signed up and have been able to get health insurance — we have 4.2 million who have signed up as of the beginning of the month and that means that there are a whole lot of people out there who could still use it.”

The president has been going to great lengths to try and get young people’s attention, including a recent appearance on comedian Zach Galifianakis’ online show “Between Two Ferns.”

“Zach actually was pretty nervous,” Obama told Seacrest. “It was funny to watch because this whole Between Two Ferns shtick… his whole character is to go after the guest and I think he was looking around and seeing all these Secret Service guys with guns and thinking, ‘I wonder what happens here if I cross the line?’ But we had a great time.”

Obama admitted he wasn’t familiar with Galifianakis’ Funny or Die series, a spoof of a public-access talk show, but said his daughters were.

“When I was at the dinner table with the girls and I said, ‘Well today I did something with Zach, it’s called Two Ferns I think?’ Malia was so excited! She had seen all the previous episodes, so I figured it was going to reach our target audience, which is a lot of young people and it turns out that we’ve had close to 15 million hits. …. The amazing thing is afterwards people actually did link to healthcare.gov and people actually signed up for health insurance, so it ended up working, but I think I’ve got to keep my day job.”

Speaking of his daughters, Seacrest asked Obama about his surprise stop by The Gap in New York earlier this week, where he picked up sweaters for Malia and Sasha.

“They thought for a dad, I displayed reasonably good taste. The bar is fairly low. But I didn’t get too adventurous. It was your basic sweaters and solid colors, didn’t get too wild,” Obama said of the shopping trip, which was intended to highlight his push to boost the minimum wage. “The key thing, the first thing I did, was walk in and said, ‘We’re just getting a sweater or a blouse or a T-shirt’ because when you start getting into pants or shoes, then suddenly you’re doomed.”

Seacrest got a hold of The Gap employee who helped the president in the store, and she mentioned that Obama could maybe use some new pants himself to replace his “mom jeans.”

“I’ve been unfairly maligned about my jeans. The truth is, generally I look very sharp in jeans,” the president said in his defense. “There was one episode like four years ago in which I was wearing some loose jeans mainly because I was out on the pitcher’s mound and I didn’t want to feel confined while I was pitching and I think I’ve paid my penance for that. I got whacked pretty good. Since that time, my jeans fit very well.”

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