Obama to Leno: 'Stunned Is the Word' on AIG

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2009 7:19 PM CDT
President Barack Obama appears on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' Thursday.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – President Obama played the role of talk-show guest tonight with Jay Leno, mixing in jokes about his bowling game (up to 129) and Final Four picks (all from swing states) with a lengthy discussion of fiscal policy, the New York Times reports. He professed himself "stunned" by the AIG bonuses, railed against Wall Street ethics, and said embattled Treasury chief Tim Geithner is doing an "outstanding job."

Obama said he's not unduly concerned about the heat from critics. Washington “is a bit like American idol except everybody’s Simon Cowell. Everybody’s got an opinion.” The public, he says, understands "that it took us a while to get into this mess, and it will take us a while to get out of it. I think they are going to give us some time.”