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From WashingtonPost.com:

The president’s official schedule for today is pretty thin. He takes off from LAX at 8:40 a.m. Pacific time to return home from his Los Angeles fundraising trip. He lands at Andrews Air Force Base at 4:05 p.m. Eastern time.

That’s it. That’s the schedule.

So it got us to wondering: what, exactly, does the president do on Air Force One during long, boring flights across the country? Unlike the rest of us, he’s not crammed in a middle seat in coach. And, unlike regular folk, he can doesn’t have to turn off all electronic equipment when he’s taking off. But he still has to fill six long hours in the air.

According to Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton, here’s how he fills it:

* Receiving briefings from staff about events that he will participate in when he lands. (There are actually a couple of conference rooms, complete with swivel chairs, in the plane.)

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* Reading issue briefings and other various materials. (No word from Burton on whether those “other various materials” might include People Magazine.)

* Reading newspapers or surfing the web for news. (Meanwhile, the small tail section of the plane reserved for the press has no Internet access. How fair is that?)

* Calls staff and world leaders. (The president’s BlackBerry doesn’t work up in the air, but the plane has several old-fashioned-looking phones that do. Burton recalls the recent phone call to Chinese President Hu that took an extra half hour to complete after Obama landed.)

* Occasionally watching movies or television shows. (Air Force One has a decent library of the latest movies, and a satellite dish to watch live television. Burton says the president has been known to switch on “Treme,” a new HBO show about the rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.)

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