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Obama to add an Emmy to the White House mantel?

  • McClatchy Washington Bureau
  • Published Thursday, July 10, 2014, at 2:01 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, July 10, 2014, at 2:42 p.m.

The Emmy award winning president?

President Barack Obama’s much maligned, though arguably successful, comedic turn with Zach Galifianakis on the comedian’s “Between Two Ferns,” has been nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program category.

Obama taped the show on Funny or Die in March as the White House was feverishly looking to increase the number of health care sign-ups and the show was viewed as a bid to convince young invincibles to sign up.

White House officials said at the time the appearance drew more people to healthcare.gov that day than any other source, though critics suggested the snarky spoof was damaging to the dignity of the presidency.

Then White House Press Secretary Jay Carney defended the spot as one of the ways the White House was using to reach Americans who might not get information about the health care law from evening news broadcasts or from newspapers.

“We, obviously, assess opportunities that we have, and look at whether or not they're going to be successful and wise, and I think we made the right call here,” Carney said.

The show featured Galifianakis posing questions to Obama, including “What should we do about North Ikea” before giving Obama a chance to tout healthcare.gov.

“Let’s get this out of the way,” Galifianakis sighs on the spot. “What’d you come here to plug?”

As Obama launches into his pitch -- that young people can get health care “for what it costs you to pay your cell phone bill” -- Galifianakis rolls his eyes.

“Is this what they mean by drones?” Galifianakis asks.

The awards will be announced Aug. 25. It wouldn’t be Obama’s first for a performance: he won a Grammy in 2005 for the audio version of his memoir "Dreams from My Father," and in 2007, he won a Grammy for the audio version of his book "The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream.”

He also won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.

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