MANCHESTER, N.H. -- It's five days before Christmas and presidential candidates are spreading their holiday cheer in commercials and at photo ops.
Yesterday, Barack Obama made a brief stop at a Toys-for-Tots distribution center in Manchester, N.H. Volunteers said that Mitt Romney visited the same facility earlier in the month. "Ho, ho, ho," Obama said as he walked in with Toys 'R Us bags.
It was amusing to watch him dressed in a suit and tie analyzing boxes of toys and helping volunteers organize the gifts. He held up a Hawaiian Barbie and tried to guess what age group the doll belongs in. "Three to five," Obama estimated.
Cynical reporters quickly asked Obama if the toys, mostly from China, were safe for distribution. He said that his staff checked to make sure that the toys were acceptable.
Reporters threw more serious questions at Obama but he wouldn't budge -- every time a reporter would as a political question, Obama's staff told us not to ask any more questions.
He did have a holiday message for both the troops and the American people. To the troops he said, "We are grateful for your service and we miss you and we know the hardships you are going through being away from your families and I want to bring them home soon."
To the American people, Obama said he hopes they remember the Christmas spirit and hopes to bring the country together. "That's going to require work after Christmas and that's what we're going to try and do in this election," he said.
After delivering his holiday messages, Obama returned to his duty for Toys-for-Tots. "This is kind of cool, a magic set," the Senator said as he gazed at the box.
Obama also let reporters in on his family's Christmas plans. He said that his sister and her family would be visiting. He also told us that his older daughter wants an iPod which she will most likely fill with songs from Beyonce.
What about Michelle? Obama said that he didn't want to say anything incriminating. "I'm counting on Santa to help me."