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Obama takes his act to Jon Stewart's "Daily Show"


President Barack Obama waves before departing the White House for a fundraiser in Maryland, October 18, 2010. REUTERS/Larry Downing
President Barack Obama waves before departing the White House for a fundraiser in Maryland, October 18, 2010. REUTERS/Larry Downing

By Patricia Zengerle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - First he gave an unexpected endorsement to Jon Stewart's upcoming "Rally to Restore Sanity." Now President Barack Obama is giving Stewart's satirical talk show the ultimate television "get" -- himself as a guest.

Obama will appear on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" on Wednesday, October 27, in the middle of a week of special episodes taped in Washington ahead of the November 2 mid-term elections, which will culminate on Saturday, October 30, with the talk show host's rally on the National Mall.

Stewart's program is calling the DC-based shows -- set to air October 25 - October 28 -- "When Grizzlies Attack: A 'Daily Show' Midterm Teapartyganza," referring to the Republican Tea Party political movement and former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin's labeling conservative women politicians as "Mama Grizzlies."

The appearance gives Obama a chance to appeal to the popular show's core young viewers just days before the vote, in which Republicans are widely expected to seize his fellow Democrats' majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and cut into their majority in the Senate. Republicans also are expected to do well in races for state governor.

"The Daily Show" is watched by about 1.8 million people every night, and is particularly popular with viewers under age 35. The appearance is Obama's latest bid to appeal to youthful voters -- earlier this month he appeared at a youth town hall that was shown live on MTV and two other television networks, CMT and BET.

"It's a great way to appeal to a younger voter audience and that is a big part of the president's base," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

It would be Obama's second appearance on "The Daily Show," which has won consecutive Emmy awards as the best U.S. variety, music or comedy series, but his first as U.S. president.

Other political figures scheduled to appear on the show next week include Austan Goolsbee, chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisors and Delaware Senator Ted Kaufman.

Obama gave the rally an unexpected endorsement last month during a meeting with voters in Virginia, which the show later played gleefully during a program.

"Jon Stewart, you know, the host of 'The Daily Show,' apparently he's going to host a rally called something like Americans in favor of a return to sanity, or something like that," Obama said during the meeting at a crowded community center in Richmond.

"And his point was 70 percent of the people -- it doesn't matter what political affiliation -- 70 percent of folks are just like you. They go about their business. They work hard every day. They're looking after their families. They don't go around calling people names. They don't make stuff up. They may not be following every single issue, because they just don't have time. But they are just expecting some common sense and some courtesy in how people interact. And having those voices lifted up is really important."

The White House did not say whether Obama would make an appearance at the rally itself.

(Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

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