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President? It's like being on American Idol; OBAMA JOKES ON CHAT SHOW.

Byline: BY MARTIN FRICKER

BARACK Obama has admitted that being President is as scary as facing Simon Cowell.

He told US chat show Jay Leno that living at the White House felt like appearing on a reality show.

He said: "I do think in Washington it is a little bit like American Idol. Except everyone is like Simon Cowell."

Obama made history by becoming the first serving US President to appear on a late-night chat show. He was greeted by loud cheers from the studio audience and repeatedly cracked jokes during his 40-minute appearance.

Obama revealed his family had finally chosen a pet dog, which will be delivered to the White House when he returns from Europe in April.

He said: "This is Washington. That was a campaign promise When we get back, the dog will be in place. I think I'm going to have a lot of fun with it.

You know they say if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog."

But Obama dropped a clanger when Leno asked if he had used President Bush's White House bowling alley. He said he had tried but got an embarrassingly low score, adding: "It was like Special Olympics or something."

The comment sent White House press chiefs into a panic and they issued an immediate statement saying the President had not intended to disparage disabled athletes.

Obama later personally rang Tim Shriver, the chairman of the Special Olympics, to apologise.

OBAMA yesterday used YouTube to extend an olive branch to Iran. In a video given to Middle East broadcasters, Obama offered a "new beginning" in diplomatic relations.

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JOKER Obama with chat king Leno
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 21, 2009
Words:277
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