But on Friday, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson broke the mold.
Introducing the president at a White House meeting with mayors, Johnson, a former NBA point guard, called the president "a really cool dude" and "a smooth president" who croons Al Green and slow jams the news with Jimmy Fallon.
"He's even been known to talk a little hoop and maybe even play a little hoop," Johnson said. "I thought I'd give him an introduction befitting to a star."
A grinning and laughing president took the lectern but was clearly a little thrown off by the unexpected showmanship.
"I have to say that that introduction is longer than my remarks and more exciting," he said. "I'm feeling a little outshone here."