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President Obama heading to Burbank for Tonight Show appearance


BURBANK, Calif.–President Barack Obama is scheduled to spend about two and a half hours in the Los Angeles area today to appear for the fifth time on NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on the third stop in a whirlwind one-day visit to four states.

The visit will create delays on the streets around Los Angeles International Airport and in Burbank between 4:25 p.m. and 8:45 p.m., although “every effort will be made to minimize the traffic impact to the public,” according to a Los Angeles Police Department statement.

Obama will begin his day at the White House, then fly aboard Air Force One from Joint Base Andrews to Davenport, Iowa, where he will speak at a campaign event. He then will head to Denver for another campaign speech.

Obama is scheduled to arrive at Los Angeles International Airport at 5:25 p.m., tape “The Tonight Show” at NBC’s Burbank studios at 6:30 p.m., then leave LAX at 7:45 p.m. for Las Vegas for his final campaign event of the day. Nevada, like Iowa and Colorado, is a battleground state.

Obama will be making his fifth appearance on “The Tonight Show” and his third since being elected president.

Because the president “is already a known quantity… the marginal benefit he’ll get from this one performance won’t be that huge,” said Tim Groeling, the chair of UCLA’s Communications Studies Department.

He “has made some pretty significant gaffes … in this venue before, so it’s not risk free for him,” Groeling said, referring to Obama’s quip on his March 19, 2009, “Tonight” appearance that his bowling score–129 out of a possible 300–“was like Special Olympics, or something.” Before the episode aired, Obama called Timothy Shriver, the chairman of Special Olympics, to apologize.

The trip will be Obama’s 13th to the Los Angeles area since taking office, but only the second that does not include a speech at a political fundraiser. Nine of his trips have been solely for fundraising. His first trip to Los Angeles after taking office did not include a fundraiser.

Michelle Obama is scheduled to be in Hollywood Thursday to tape an appearance on the ABC late night talk show “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” She has campaign events in San Diego and Las Vegas Friday.