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.

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