Final confirmation that George Bush has too much time on his hands came last night.
Bush, who according to a Gallup poll today became the most unpopular president in recorded US history, said he was thrilled to be on the show. "Come to think of it, I'm thrilled to be anywhere with high ratings these days," he said.
It was for a popular cause, in support of a US war veteran taking part in the contest, which has a $1m prize.
Bush did the recording at the White House last month for the airing last night in which he wished Captain Joseph Kobes good luck.
"The show's producers contacted the White House after learning from Captain Kobes, who said that the president is one of his heroes," White House spokesman Tony Fratto said.
The president thanked Kobes, who served three tours of duty in Iraq and received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart after his truck was blown up, for his "courageous service".
"You and your fellow men and women in uniform are heroes to all Americans whose freedoms you protect," Bush said.
On the show, contestants pick one of 26 briefcases, each of which contains money ranging from a cent to a million dollars. As cases are eliminated from the game, a 'banker' offers contestants various amounts to drop out.
Bush told the game-show host, Howie Mandel, that he could use his services in Washington to help balance the federal budget.
"Howie, I don't know if you're free to come to Washington any time soon but I have to reach an agreement with Congress on the federal budget. How'd you like to host a $3tn 'Deal or No Deal,'" Bush joked.
His appearance came as a USA Today/Gallup poll showed Bush now has the highest disapproval rating of any president in the 70-year history of the poll. It found 28% of Americans approve of the job Bush is doing while 69% disapprove.
The previous disapproval record of 67% was set by Harry Truman in January 1952 at the height of the Korean war.
On no single other night in US history have so many senior Washington figures reached out beyond the normal confines of political life.
While Bush was on the game show, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain were appearing on the World Wrestling Entertainment's popular 'Monday Night Raw' programme.
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Bush's appearance failed to help Kobes. The captain rolled the dice aiming for $750,000 but in the end settled for $26,000.
The highs and lows of US presidents (courtesy of Gallup)
High 89% approval (September 2001)
Low 69% disapproval (April 2008)
High 71% approval (December 2000)
Low 53% disapproval (September 1994)
George HW Bush
High 89% approval (March 1991)
Low 59% disapproval (July-August 1992)
High 71% approval (January 1986)
Low 56% disapproval (January 1983)
High 74% approval (March 1977)
Low 59% disapproval (June 1979)
High 70% approval (August 1974)
Low 46% disapproval (November 1975)
High 66% approval (January 1973)
Low 65% disapproval (July 1974)
High 79% approval (March 1964)
Low 52% disapproval (August 1968)
John F Kennedy
High 79% approval (November 1961)
Low 30% disapproval (November 1963)
High 77% approval (January 1956)
Low 35% disapproval (March 1958)
High 91% approval (August 1945)
Low 67% disapproval (January 1952)
Franklin D Roosevelt
High 79% approval (January 1942)
Low 26% disapproval (August 1941)
© 2008 The Guardian