What’s next, putting up on the White House lawn those inflatable "Monster Sale" gorillas beloved by car dealers everywhere?

President Obama’s latest turn as TV Pitchman-in-Chief was good for laughs Friday morning in dispatches from both the New York Times and the Heritage Foundation. On Thursday, Obama spoke from the Roosevelt Room at the White House to plug a government run web site called MakingHomeAffordable.gov that promotes refinancing. The Times’ Jeff Zeleny wrote that "He is not a mortgage broker. But for a time on Thursday, President Obama seemed to be playing on on television, urging Americans not to miss out on rock-bottom refinancing rates...Seldom has the president sounded so much like the host of a late-night infomercial, stopping just shy of imploring people to call the toll-free number at the bottom of their television screens.’’

Heritage, in a rare shout-out to the Times, said the newspaper was "dead right." And then they got in their own riffs in an online piece entitled "Hail to the Sham Wow Guy,’’ a nod of course to the ubiquitous late-night infomercial guy pitching a chamois cloth with miraculous abilities to wipe up spills. "Yesterday’s taxpayer-funded infomercial came just 10 days after President Obama played car salesman in the Grand Foyer of the White House and five weeks after he played stockbroker in the Oval Office....expect to see a lot more of our new Sham Wow Guy in Chief.’’ Heritage’s humor, of course, had an edge, sounding the alarm about bailouts leading to the federal government picking private-sector winners and losers. A valid point, but one that conveniently neglects to mention the policies that led to the need for bailouts in the first place.

The White House, turns out, had a sense of humor about the situation. According to the Times, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked if there are further refinancing pitches on the way. His tongue-in-cheek reply? "Little snappy refinancing commercials you see late night."