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Obama: Going to Great Lengths to Get His Message Out

5299270Have you got a show on community access cable? Do you post videos on Twitter? Planning a meeting of your garden club?

You may be hearing from the White House to book the president on it.

Determined to overcome opposition to his health care plan, President Obama wants all the exposure he can to make the case for his health care plan.

This Sunday, he's taking the unprecedented of step of appearing on five – count 'em – five Sunday talk shows.

It's exceedingly rare for a sitting U.S. president to appear on a single Sunday morning
public affairs program once or twice during his term in office. It's unheard of for president to do five on the same day. Mr. Obama will be seen Sunday on ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC and Univision. Fox is conspicuous by its absence from the list. .

The White House declined to explain its exclusion of Fox, but Mr. Obama is very aware that the Fox broadcast network, which airs Fox News Sunday, did not air his health care address last week to a joint session of Congress. In recent days he's joked about Fox's decision when asking audiences about his speech.

"I don't know if any of you caught it on television - you may have been watching "So You Think You Can Dance," he said of Fox, though he added that "Michelle loves that show, by the way."

CBSNews.com Special Report: Health Care

The Fox News Channel did carry the Obama speech, but the Obama White House feels more ill-treated by Fox News that any other TV network.

As if five Sunday TV appearances aren't enough, Mr. Obama will be David Letterman's only guest on his Monday night show. It's rare, but not unprecedented. Mr. Obama appeared with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show last March.

(CBS)
These newly scheduled appearances come a week after Mr. Obama appeared in the lead segment on "60 Minutes," and sat for interviews Monday with CNBC and Bloomberg

What the president wants are forums in which he can address public concerns about the health care plan he wants Congress to enact.

The latest CBS News Poll shows that Mr. Obama's speech to Congress boosted public support for his health care plan. Sixty percent of those surveyed said they "mostly agree" with his proposals, 33 percent said they "mostly disagree."

But opposition in the House and Senate still threatens to block enactment of his plan, or at the least, major parts of it. So Mr. Obama is looking to change minds and votes.

Since his address to Congress, he has given seven speeches in which he has delivered passionate arguments for his health care plan. But none of those speeches will get the attention that appearances on Sunday talk shows or Letterman will get.

More from Obama on "60 Minutes":

Obama on Health Care Bill: "I Own It"
Transcript of the Whole Interview


(CBS)
Mark Knoller is a CBS News White House correspondent. You can read more of his posts in Hotsheet here. You can also follow him on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/markknoller.
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