Image: Barack Obama, Jay Leno
Paul Drinkwater  /  © NBC Universal, Inc.
In Barack Obama's Oct. 17, 2007, appearance on NBC's Tonight Show he told host Jay Leno he wasn't prepared to cede the Democratic presidential nomination to Hillary Clinton.
msnbc.com and NBC News
updated 3/16/2009 7:37:57 PM ET 2009-03-16T23:37:57

The White House says President Barack Obama will appear this week on Jay Leno's television talk show, perhaps adding a lighter touch to his bid to resuscitate the moribund U.S. economy.

Obama will visit "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" during his trip to Los Angeles on Thursday.

NBC will tape the program and air it that night, after the president has returned to Washington.

An NBC spokesperson says she believes this is the first time a sitting president has agreed to appear on the "Tonight Show." It may also be a first for any late-night broadcast.

The network, however, is certain that it's a first for Leno, who's helmed the show for 17 years.

(Msnbc.com is a joint venture between Microsoft and NBC Universal)

Obama's last appearance on the show was back in 2007 — in the midst of Obama's ultimately successful presidential campaign.

At the time, then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton was surging the polls. "Hillary is not the first politician in Washington to declare mission accomplished a little too soon," Obama joked.

Obama is scheduled to be in California for two town hall meetings. The campaign-like stops outside the beltway are part of the administration's ongoing efforts to promote the stimulus and the budget.

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Video: Obama to appear on Leno

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