Obama’s `Joy Ride,’ Tigers Pitch, Swing-State Hershey Bars: Jay Leno

Photograph by Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Barack Obama chats with host Jay Leno during a break in the taping of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on Oct. 24, 2012 at NBC Studios in Burbank, California.

When a president rides, it’s in an armored limousine. When he flies, it’s Air Force One.

Yet President Barack Obama did get out for a little “joy ride” recently — taking a friend’s electric Chevy Volt for a spin.

“That was my big joy ride. Three times around the South Lawn driveway,” Obama told Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show” — the president’s eyes rolling with sarcasm for his expedition around the White House grounds.

In the third leg of what he’s dubbed the “48-hour campaign marathon extravaganza,”  Obama took a little detour to Los Angeles for his appearance on the late-night show, where he covered a wide range of matters — from Europe’s debt crisis to Wall Street reform — with plenty of politically themed laugh lines.

Obama rarely misses an opportunity to herald his rescue of the U.S. auto industry, and last night was no exception. Asked by Leno which team he’d put his money on in the World Series – the Detroit Tigers or the San Francisco Giants, Obama spent a little time bemoaning the loss of his beloved Chicago White Sox to the Tigers before getting to the punch line.

“I have spent a lot of time in Detroit lately and I didn’t want to let Detroit go bankrupt, so in this particular World Series, I may be a little partial,” Obama said.

Letting Detroit go bankrupt is, of course, a reference to Republican rival Mitt Romney’s Nov. 19, 2008, op-ed in the New York Times, under the headline “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” in which he argued against using federal funds to bailout the U.S. automakers.

Sticking with the U.S. auto theme, the president also let slip his secret about the tour of the South Lawn in a Volt.

“I’m having fun,” Obama said, noting that the Secret Service was getting nervous. “I went around once. I was really kind of getting into it.”

He decided to go around again, he said, which led the Secret Service to call out an APB: “Under No Circumstances is he to leave the gate.’

The president also had a message for any trick-or-treaters stopping by the White House on Halloween night: If you’re from a swing state, you’ll get better candy.

Leno asked Obama if the White House got “egged” last year because First Lady Michelle Obama handed out fruit as part of her anti-childhood obesity initiative, Let’s Move.

“It is an election year, so candy for everybody,” Obama exclaimed. “If anybody comes from Ohio to the White House, they will get a Hershey bar about this big,” said the president, holding arms up wide.


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