Posts by Devin Dwyer
Hours after Trump unveiled a dud of a potential "bombshell" against Obama - a call on the president to release his college records in exchange for a $5 million donation to charity - Leno asked the president why the media mogul and reality TV star seems to have it out for the president.
"You know, this all dates back to when we were growing up together in Kenya," Obama joked, alluding to Trump's repeated birther claims. "We had constant run-in on the soccer field, and he wasn't very good at it. When we finally moved to America, I thought it would be over."
Obama told Leno that he has never met Trump in person, though Obama did famously roast him at the 2011 White House Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington while he sat in the crowd.
With debate season complete, Obama told Leno that he harbored a bit of disappointment because "I was just getting the hang of it" and noted that it was difficult for him to assess his performances in real-time.
In an email to supporters Monday, Obama for the first time declared the race "tied," conceding that a lead he held ahead of the first debate has shrunk or disappeared. Romney meanwhile has been touting what he calls a "growing crescendo of enthusiasm" for his campaign.
Tonight's debate - a town hall style showdown - could provide an opportunity for each candidate to gain the edge he desires.
Here are five things to watch tonight that could shape voters' perceptions before the final debate next Monday:
A More 'Aggressive' Obama: Obama is expected to compensate for his lackluster showing in the first debate with a more aggressive approach to Romney and attempt to hold him accountable for his past positions on key issues. Obama is also likely to come armed with some "zingers" - those snappy one-liners which he largely avoided in the first debate but has deployed in a steady stream against Romney on the campaign trail since.
Obama got a first-hand look at the devastation in St. John the Baptist Parish, one of the hardest hit in the storm, situated roughly 30 miles west of downtown New Orleans.
His motorcade passed streets lined with mounds of debris, uprooted trees, ruined furniture and appliances piled in yards and along the curb. The air smelled of trash and sewage as it baked in the 100-degree heat. He later went house to house in the Ridgewood neighborhood of La Place, shaking hands with residents and hearing their stories.
"There is enormous faith here, enormous strength here," Obama said after his tour. "You can see it with these families - they were just devastated a few days ago and they are already smiling and laughing and feeling confident about the future and pulling together."
"Recently some of you have been paying attention to the commentary about the senator (sic) from Missouri, Mr. Akin, who … the interesting thing here is that this is an individual who sits on the House Committee on Science and Technology but somehow missed science class," Obama said, drawing laughter and applause.
"And it's representative of the desire to go backwards instead of forwards and fight fights that we thought were settled 20 or 30 years ago," he added.
The president was addressing a group of 120 current and former NBA stars and other wealthy supporters attending the $20,000 per plate "Obama Classic" fundraiser in New York City. Spotted in the crowd were co-host Michael Jordan and his fiancee, Yvette Prieto, Bill Bradley, Patrick Ewing, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Walt "Clyde" Frazier.
"This is my dream team," Obama told the group at the top of his remarks.
Obama embarks on a bus tour from Council Bluffs, in the western part of the state, cutting across the drought-stricken farmland over three-days to hit seven stops along the way. It marks his most aggressive effort of the year in the state that catapulted him to the presidency four years ago.
Ryan, fresh off his debut as vice presidential running mate for Mitt Romney, will "drop by" the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines on his first solo day of stumping for the GOP ticket. The novelty of his new role is sure to draw curious crowds.
Iowa is fitting turf for a first campaign clash between the two men and their starkly contrasting economic visions for the country. The most recent polling shows Obama and Romney locked in a dead heat in the state, unlike several other battlegrounds where Obama has developed a slight lead.
"I need you guys to load up and go over into Iowa, a battleground state, and knock on some doors and make some phone calls over there," Obama told a young crowd of donors here Sunday afternoon. "We've got to get help. You've got to get involved in the election."
No doubt, first lady Michelle Obama had a fun and lucrative Sunday at the Beverly Hills home of singer Gwen Stefani.
Obama, on a West Coast fundraising swing for her husband's re-election campaign, mingled with supporters and delivered a keynote address at a $2,500-per-family event on the lawn beside Stefani's outdoor pool. It was billed as a "Sunday of Fun" on invitations to donors.
Organizers provided fake tattoos on the tennis court for kids, while platters of roasted meats and cookies sat on tables by the hot tub for parents, according to press pool reporters on scene.
Bandmates from No Doubt sat in the crowd, many with children on their laps. Stefani's children - Kingston, 6, and Zuma, 3, - were also there. Her husband, singer Gavin Rossdale, was said to be on tour in Europe, a campaign official said.
Given her audience, Obama delivered a kid-focused pitch for her husband's campaign.
"Barack can't do it alone. He's not Spider-Man. He's not a superhero. He's a human, so we need your help," she said.
A party of 50 donors, each paying $40,000 to attend, gathered around a long table just inside the entryway of Parker's four-story brownstone in the West Village to dine with the president and First Lady Michelle Obama. Spotted at the table were actress Meryl Streep, producer Andy Cohen, designer Michael Kors, "Vogue" editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, and actress Olivia Wilde. (Broderick was not in attendance; the president noted he "had a show to run off to.")
President Obama, standing in close quarters with his guests and members of the press pool brought in to hear the remarks, spoke candidly about the challenges of the general election race underway.
"We're going to have to fight for it because the American people are tired, they've gone through a very tough economy. They're still having a tough time. And that's why this election is going to be close," Obama said.
"She deserves to be spoiled," Obama said of his wife in an exclusive interview with ABC News' Robin Roberts.
"Some aspect of it will be handmade," he said. "You know, Malia and Sasha - it's sort of like an arms race in terms of who can make the bigger, more creative card."
Obama said the kids' rooms in the White House would be strewn with markers, colored pencils and paper over the next few days.
The special treatment for the first lady comes nearly a week after President Obama deplaned Air Force One in Columbus, Ohio, accidentally leaving his wife behind - all as the cameras looked on.
"Oh, it was embarrassing," a smiling Obama told Roberts. "She gave me so much grief. It was terrible."
The president praised his wife for her advocacy on behalf of children and military families, calling her achievements "extraordinary work."
President Obama will sit down with "Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts today at the White House for a wide-ranging interview, his first since Vice President Joe Biden's public support of same-sex marriage and North Carolina voters imposed a new ban on all same-sex unions. When asked Monday about the president's self-described evolution on the issue, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, "I can tell you that I'm sure it is the case that he will be asked again at some point when he gives interviews or press conferences about this issue, and I'll leave it to him to describe his personal views."
With his "evolving" stance on same-sex marriage in the spotlight, here's a look back at the various positions he has held on the issue: from appearing to support the unions as a young state senate candidate, opposing them outright as a matter of faith in 2004, to suggesting a shift in line with public opinion:
"With the girls, they just think of it as dad, that is what dads are supposed to do. They take it for granted," Obama said of the experience in an interview with ESPN's Andy Katz.
"But what was fun, this is now the third year that the team has played together, and to see them all develop at different paces, to get better and start thinking as a team and to feel good when the team does well, to pick each other up when something is not going well, you can't beat it," he said, "you can't beat the satisfaction."
Obama said he first got involved with the team when he realized the girls' coach - a parent volunteer who works for the National Institutes of Health - didn't have any basketball experience.
"We'd see somebody playing a zone, our girls wouldn't know where to go, so I would go over and whisper to the coach," he said. "On Sunday, we would have them over to the gym over here and we'd run drills and we'd run plays."