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from Tales from the Trail:

First lady likes Obama’s voice; rates Romney singing ‘beautiful’

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Michelle Obama might have been one of the few people in the United States who knew President Barack Obama could actually carry a tune before he surprised an Apollo Theater audience this month.

In her debut appearance on NBC “The Tonight Show” as first lady, Mrs. Obama told host Jay Leno that her husband sings to her all the time.  She said she even knew what song it would be when she heard about his singing a line from Al Green's "Let's Stay Together." Mrs. Obama gave a very tiny demonstration before conceding that the president was the better singer. Obama said her husband has a beautiful voice.

Asked about the performance turned in by Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney singing "America the Beautiful" on the campaign trail in Florida, Mrs. Obama said "its beautiful."

Here's a clip from NBC

(Video clip courtesy: NBC/ Photo credit: NBC “The Tonight Show”/Stacie McChesney)

from Tales from the Trail:

Barack and Jon, together again, on The Daily Show next week

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

OBAMA/Obama will appear on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" on Wednesday, Oct. 27, in the middle of a week of special episodes taped in Washington ahead of the Nov. 2 midterm elections. It all culminates with a Saturday rally on the National Mall.

from Tales from the Trail:

Dylan at the White House: how much have the times changed?

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The announcement that music icon Bob Dylan was coming to the White House next month for "A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement" sent us scrambling to listen to his famous song "The Times They Are A-Changin'."

The lyrics from 45 years ago, eerily echo today.

Come senators, congressmen, please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway, don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt,  will be he who has stalled
The battle outside is ragin'
It'll soon shake your windows, and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'

from Tales from the Trail:

“Fiesta Latina” changes the rhythm at Obama White House

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hosts President Barack Obama celebrated the growing contribution of Hispanic culture and music to the United States with a "Fiesta Latina" at the White House, part of a musical series started by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Latin music "moves us and tends to make us want to move ourselves," the president declared.

Madonna reunites Justin, Britney but Obama gets big roar

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 So the rumors of a Madonna-orchestrated Britney and Justin reunion were true… kinda.  The former teen sweethearts both performed with the Material Girl during her Thursday night concert in L.A.’s Dodger Stadium, but not together.

In fact, there was at least an hour between their respective appearances, so it’s anybody’s guess whether they even ran into each other backstage.

Obama’s top aide comes with Hollywood connection

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Barack Obama’s first appointment as U.S. president-elect comes with an inside-Hollywood connection.  His newly chosen White House chief-of-staff-to-be, Illinois congressman Rahm Emanuel, is the older brother of Ari Emanuel, a founding partner of the A-list, Beverly Hills-based talent-management firm Endeavor.

So colorful and well-known a showbiz figure has he become that he inspired the character of the sly Hollywood agent Ari Gold, played by Jeremy Piven, on the HBO series “Entourage.” The role has earned Piven two Emmy Awards.

Election day, caught on the Web

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(Reporting and writing by Alex Dobuzinskis)

When it comes to election day news, TV coverage is so 2004. The Internet will cover election day from every angle on Tuesday — from the left and right sides of the political spectrum and with plenty of opportunity for Web users to get involved.
    
CNN will allow users to make their own predictions about which candidate will capture the votes in each state at CNN.com/Map, and to compare scenarios for how Republican John McCain or Democrat Barack Obama can get to the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the presidency. CNN is also giving Web users the latest information on voting problems at CNN.com/VoterHotline.
    
The cable channel Current is relying on the Internet to provide material for its broadcast, and it will air 12-second webcam commentaries on the election submitted to 12seconds.tv and Current.com.
    
From the liberal perspective, the Huffington Post will cover election day with live video feeds and with blogs from American and international writers. Also, thousands of the site’s “citizen journalists” will follow the election paying special attention to what occurs at polling places, said Mario Ruiz, a spokesman for the site.
    
The Web site TownHall.com will look at the election from a conservative viewpoint, which it has done on the Internet since 1995. In addition to having video and plenty of opportunity for Web users to comment on the day’s developments, it will also have audio from election day broadcasts by such conservative talk show hosts as Dennis Prager and Michael Medved.

Update – Babs backs Obama on radio in battleground states

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It’s not new that Barbra Streisand is backing Sen. Barack Obama for president. But it is unusual when Streisand goes so far as to take to radio airwaves in battleground states to answer callers’ questions on live shows, which is what she is doing on Monday and Tuesday.

With Monday’s radio campaigning done, Streisand moved on to Florida and other states on Tuesday. She’ll be working the phones again from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. est in this order: WJNO in West Palm Beach, Florida; WEPM in Martinsburg, West Virginia; AURN in Pittsburgh; WXKC-FM in Erie, Pennsylvania; WZAZ in Jacksonville, Florida; and WCBQ in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.

Opie, Andy and the Fonz stump for Obama

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(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis)

Movie director Ron Howard has spent much of his adult life making a name for himself apart from the All-American boy named Opie he played on “The Andy Griffith Show” and the squeaky clean Richie Cunningham of “Happy Days.” 
    
But in a video posted on Thursday at the comedy Web site Funnyordie.com, Howard stepped away from the director’s chair and became both Opie and Richie, one more time, to promote Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.
    
Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith) joined Opie, and The Fonz (Henry Winkler), the greaser from the sitcom “Happy Days,” had his own chat with Richie. “Happy Days” and “The Andy Griffith Show” are among the most popular shows in TV history. The full video can be found here.

“I’ve never done this before and I hope never to do it again, but I guess you could say I’m feeling pretty desperate these days,” Howard said in the video. “So, as a demonstration of my sincerity, this is for you America.”
    
With that, Howard entered the black-and-white world of 1960s program “The Andy Griffith Show,” playing the 8-year-old Opie who is the son of small-town sheriff Andy Taylor. He tells his TV “dad” he wants to vote for Obama one day. Griffith told him he could do it, if he avoided the “butter-fly ballot.”
    
In another segment, Howard reappears dressed as teenager Richie Cunningham. He talks to the Fonz, the leather-clad greaser on ”Happy Days” who epitomized cool. The two talk about voting and double dating with someone who sounds a lot like Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
    
“Ron Howard’s Call to Action,” as the nearly four-minute video is called, is the latest in a string of political videos placed at Funny Or Die, a Web site created by comedian Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay.
    
The biggest hit for the Web site so far was posted in August, when celebrity heiress Paris Hilton mocked Republican presidential nominee John McCain over an attack ad he put out using an image of Hilton. In that video, Hilton played it relatively evenhanded between Obama and McCain, offering her own political ideas as she launched a fake presidential candidacy.

Election politics: The ultimate reality TV

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(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis)

In one more sign that the current presidential election campaign has drawn increased interest among pop culture watchers, Entertainment Weekly magazine released a survey on Thursday showing respondents, ages 18-24, estimated spending one-third of their TV time watching election coverage.

Of those surveyed, 1-in-5 Americans is watching more election coverage because they are dissatisfied with reality TV.

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