Heeere's Mitt

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Mitt Romney with Jay LenoMitt Romney speaks with Jay Leno, during a taping of The Tonight Show Wednesday.Source: Mark J. Terrill, APWhite House candidate Mitt Romney makes his late night TV debut this evening, appearing on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, but his campaign tells us that Leno's people have been courting the ex-Massachusetts governor for quite some time.

"We always said that if we're ever in California, and we have time in the schedule, we'll do it," Romney spokesman Kevin Madden tells our Dan Gilgoff. This week, Romney travels to California for the first Republican presidential debate of the '08 cycle, at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. But more Americans are likely to catch Romney on Leno than at the debate, which will be televised nationally on MSNBC.

"The governor has a funny side that we haven't yet seen," Madden says, adding that the governor may draw on material he tried out at last month's annual Gridiron Dinner in Washington, when Romney brought down the house by singing a rendition of Garth Brooks's "Friends in Low Places." But Romney said that the conversation will be steered mainly by Leno and that the campaign won't spend too much time preparing: "We spend so many days traveling, doing policy preparation, and having meetings, that this is an opportunity to have some fun and be around celebrities."