Obama's Late Night Laughs

David Letterman was part comedian, part hardened newsman when he tackled the biggest interview of them all, President Obama, Monday night. We've got the scoop.

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(A network press camera was allowed in during a commercial break in the show's taping to get some shots of President Obama and David Letterman. Note Letterman joking at the end that it's time to go.)

First, the spinach (the newsier bits)...

When talking health care, the President said those who've become riled up in town halls over health care should place their anger elsewhere, saying some of it is misplaced. What people should really be angry about, he said, is that because of the lack of regulations and wild risk-taking in the financial sector, Americans had to "pony up" millions of dollars to banks. They got a "raw deal," he said, and when health care reform is passed, people will realize this was the right way to go.

Speaking of jobs, President Obama did mention again, as he has in recent days, that the key to getting the economy humming again is getting people back to work.

Now, the dessert!

Mr. Obama has in recent days rejected the notion by former President Jimmy Carter that race has triggered anger over the President's policies. The conversation on Late Night took a comedic turn when Letterman asked him about it, "I think it's important to realize that I was actually black before the election," Obama said to laughter.

Letterman slowly turned his head to the audience, letting the joke marinate for a few seconds before asking, "How long have you been a black man?"

Mr. Obama then went into his standard answer of late about how the issue is more about concerns over big government and change than it is about race.

In another light moment, Mr. Obama quipped the main reason he was on the show was to see a woman who'd shown Dave a heart-shaped potato. Letterman promptly retrieved the potato and gave it to the President.

Now here's what you really wanna know!

Courtesy of the press pool who was able to listen in on the taping, here is the Top Ten:

Top Ten Reasons Why President Obama Agreed to Appear on the Show

10. Heard the lady with the heart-shaped potato was gonna be here

9. Thought it would be fun to watch someone else get heckled

8. Something to do with that whole cash for clunkers deal

7. Every president since Teddy Roosevelt has done it

6. In this economy, if someone offers you 600 bucks, you take it ladies and gentlemen

5. We told him Megan Fox would be here

4. Needed some place to hang out before check in time at his hotel

3. I have no idea

2. Said yes, without thinking, like Bush did with Iraq

1. Wanted to congratulate Dave on the big Emmy win

In a funny but telling moment about the President's recent media blitz, Mr. Obama noted that the vast majority of Americans want change, but they're scared about a devil they don't know. He said that's why he ended up being on the David Letterman show.

As the President faces a decision on whether or not to send more troops to Afghanistan, he told Dave he recognizes the difficulty of the situation on the ground there, but that he will ask the tough questions of his commanders.

Mr. Obama says of Iraq that we're on pace to withdraw. He noted that though it's a good thing Saddam Hussein is no longer in power, given the enormous stakes in Afghanistan, we should have finished the job in Iraq first.