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President Barack Obama to his kids: 'Just act like you're listening to me'

ABC

First Lady Michelle Obama reveals how the president encourages their kids to at least pretend to pay attention at big events.

Ask any teens about their parents' jobs and you're bound to get some shrugged shoulders and thoroughly disinterested looks. And it doesn't seem to matter what line of work you're in. Evidently even the position of commander-in-chief isn't enough to hold a typical teen's attention.

On Thursday night, First Lady Michelle Obama visited "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and admitted that daughters Sasha and Malia sometime require a little pushing to make sure they at least fake interest in Dad's leader-of-the-free-world gig.

"They're great kids," she told Kimmel. "I mean, we are so blessed, and they have been so poised and gracious through these ups and downs that this life offers them."

But that doesn't mean they don't get bored.

"Well, they're still teenagers, so you know, they don't have a poker face," Obama added.

But every so often, when it's really important, the president does his best to keep them interested -- of at least keep them looking interested.

"The one thing he cares about is, 'Just look like you're listening to me.' That was his instruction before he gave his speech at the DNC," she recalled. "We’re backstage, and they’re playing around, and they’re laughing, and they’re giggling, and he said, ‘Just act like you’re listening to me!’”

Music to vote to


Over on “The Daily Show,” host Jon Stewart was interested in both presidential candidates and how they related to songs from current reality TV show judges. “Barack Obama is saying to the electorate ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time,’ while Mitt Romney is perhaps saying 'I’m a Genie in a Bottle, Baby,'" quipped Stewart.

If only the candidates actually did sing those songs at political stops rather than giving the same old stump speeches, the campaign coverage on the news would be a lot more fun to watch.

But instead, both Stewart and Stephen Colbert on "The Colbert Report" focused more on political arguments, with each having high-profile guest on their shows on Thursday.

Stewart interviewed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. She had some good zingers, but wasn’t interested in a comedy routine with Stewart as much as she was focused on getting her message out.

Pelosi took Stewart’s point that the odds are against Democrats taking the House, but said “That’s what they say, but that’s why we have elections. It’s not determined by the pundits, but by the people.”

She also portrayed this election as a stark choice between political philosophies, particularly on issues like abortion and the future of social security and medicare. “It’s about shared values. It’s not about having a job, it’s about doing a job for the American people,” she said.

Colbert interviewed outgoing Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, a Republican who like Colbert himself has a book to promote: “Keeping the Republic: Saving America by Trusting Americans.”

“Do I have to trust all Americans? Because it’s my understanding that 47% of Americans are parasites,” Colbert asked.

Daniels tried to avoid taking the political bait, as the point of the book is that politicians need to trust people enough to let them make their own choices. “A lot of politicians on both sides think don’t think that American can handle the truth,” Daniels said, although he regrettably did not use that line to channel Jack Nicholson’s character in “A Few Good Men.”

Colbert also pointed out that many candidates write a book as a prelude to seeking higher office. That’s something Daniels decided not to do. But Colbert told him it wasn’t too late.

“There are still 12 days left. That’s longer than the entire Tim Pawlenty campaign,” he said.

More on Mourdock

Both Stewart and Colbert mined some additional comedy out of Indiana Senatorial candidate Richard Mourdock’s comments on rape and abortion.

Stewart pointed out that Romney still endorses the Republican candidate. “Not often do you hear someone say ‘I disagree on your views about rape and incest but … not a dealbreaker,’” he said.

Such an endorsement was not given by Daniels, the outgoing Republican governor of Indiana. He said that when he agreed to become President of Purdue University once his term ends in January 2013, he also agreed to become “a political noncombatant” and stay out of that line of punditry.

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