The Late Night Campaign: Leno Gets an Obama Bounce

President Obama’s appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” gave the show its highest ratings for a Wednesday since Leno’s return to the show in March, 2010. We’re still awaiting a total viewing figure.

Based on overnight numbers, Obaam’s appearance garned a 4.0 rating and a 10 share. Update: Our ratings guru here at Variety says that it works out to about 5 million viewers.

But the “headline” out of the appearance was Obama’s comments on Richard Mourdock, the Indiana GOP Senate candidate under fire for comments he made about rape. The Obama campaign seems to be using the attention paid to “The Tonight Show” as a springboard for a new line of attack as the president campaigns across swing states today, with the line that male politicians shouldn’t be dictating women’s health.

That very well may continue this evening, when First Lady Michelle Obama appears on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” as part of a fundraising swing through Los Angeles. It includes a lunchtime event at the home of Will Smith.

 

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