Obama's Guest Spot Points to Newly Political Letterman

Lineup coup as Dave veers toward politics
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2009 10:13 AM CDT
In this photo released by CBS, actor Jeremy Piven, left, talks with host David Letterman, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2009 in New York, on the set of "The Late Show with David Letterman."    (AP Photo/CBS, John Paul Filo)
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(Newser) – With President Obama tonight and Bill Clinton tomorrow, David Letterman is starting his new season with a bang—and a marked shift toward politics, the New York Times reports. Letterman, who chose to lay low in repeats last week as NBC trotted out big guests for Jay Leno's primetime debut, is now making a strong play for the younger audiences Conan O'Brien usually wins. 

Energized by last season's tiffs with Sarah Palin and John McCain, the once-apolitical Letterman is reconfiguring his program around longer, more political monologues, casting himself as Johnny-Carson-meets-The-Daily-Show. But scoring Obama for the season debut was more luck than strategy on Letterman's part, CBS says—Obama's priorities, not Letterman's, set the date for the president's appearance.