Presidential Candidates Appear on Late Night Television

With the impending presidential election in 2016, many candidates have been making their rounds on the late night talk show circuit to appeal to large audiences and earn themselves some votes.

This practice of appearing on late night programs hasn’t sprung up out of nowhere: it dates back to John F. Kennedy appearing on “The Jack Paar Tonight Show” in the 1960s. Kennedy’s appearance set a standard for candidates to get on-air time and talk about their policies, or at least just prove themselves to be charismatic.

This year has been no different in terms of presidential hopefuls working their way across late night television. From Bernie Sanders on “The Late Show” with Steven Colbert to Donald Trump on “The Tonight Show,” both sides of the political race are getting their time with late night favorites such as Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers.

Democratic hopeful Sanders had quite a lot to say during his time with The Late Show’s Colbert, taking on the meant-to-offend terms of “socialist” and “liberalist.” By that token, Sanders has taken a political angle in his appearances, as opposed to merely appealing to the crowd and getting on their good side.

Jeb Bush has spoken quite a bit on his political stances during these televised interviews, mainly approaching the crowd with ease and kindness to assure them of his integrity. Some have said this is an attempt to stray from his family name and set himself apart.

“I absolutely think Jeb Bush is straying from using the name ‘Bush’ to avoid the negative connotations that come with it and all the potentially hurtful things that could come with it,” said Donovan Lynch, a freshman.

Hillary Clinton joined the fray in a recent appearance on “Saturday Night Live.” Clinton acted as a bartender and, while she was at it, made some jabs at Trump, much to the delight of the audience. The publicity drawn from this will certainly bode well for the Clinton campaign.

The highlight of these late night television appearances, especially among Ramapo students, has been the ones done by Trump. An already controversial face in the political race, Trump has managed to work his charm on the national level. Though his political plans were vague and unappealing, he works the crowds with his charm and sweet talk and has, thus, made himself a hot topic, not only from the late night circuit, but the presidential race as a whole.

Freshman Josh Lustig said, “Trump is actually very soft spoken and polite during interviews; it’s an interesting change.”

As the leading Republican candidate, Trump has made sure to keep appearances up, practically ignoring any, if not all, political questions thrown his way by hosts. Trump’s answers to these late night hosts have been nothing less than charming, safe and extremely thought out in order to save his lead in the polls.

It is evident the presidential candidates’ appearances on late night television have made their mark on their campaigns. We can only wait and see how their charm, charisma and responses to host questions have affected their campaign.