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Obama sings for his donors


Fundraising on Thursday in New York, President Obama decided his audience of 1,400 at the Apollo Theater in Harlem needed to hear just a little bit more than the usual campaign rhetoric.  So he broke into the first line of Al Green's R&B classic, "Let's Stay Together" -- after Al Green, himself, had warmed up the crowd.  

        “I-I-I’m so in love with you…”

Brief as the phrase is, it's tough to hit all the high notes. But the president was pitch-perfect.  The audience screamed in delight.  Obama grinned, delighted himself. "Don’t worry, Rev," he said to Green, "I cannot sing like you."

It's been a while since we've seen Obama show that much playfulness and charm publicly.  True, he hasn’t had much to be playful about -- the budget crisis, the healthcare crisis, war.

Still, it would be refreshing to see more of that man who showed up on the stage of the Apollo.  We don’t expect him to break into song when he's battling Congress or delivering the State of the Union address next week.  Nor are we suggesting he ditch his day job and go on the road as a backup singer to Al Green.  But it would be heartening to see him warmer and more -- dare we say it? -- soulful. 

Next fundraising stop, he should go for the rest of the verse.


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--Carla Hall


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The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.

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