President Obama stars in an ad for the Democratic candidate looking to unseat Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao (R-La.) in next month's elections.

Obama cut his first election ad for Cedric Richmond, the Democratic candidate looking to reclaim the heavily-Democratic New Orleans seat that had been held by Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) until Cao's victory in 2008.

"The city of New Orleans has had its trials, but you've also had great champions, fighting to see you through the tough times," Obama says in the ad. "Cedric Richmond is one of those champions."

The ad is a particularly shrewd maneuver by the president to reclaim the traditionally Democratic seat from Republicans, despite a close relationship Obama seems to have forged with Cao over the last 20 months.

"I love the president, and I believe he truly likes me," Cao said in early September.

Cao had voted with Obama on several initiatives, including Wall Street reform and healthcare reform on its first vote in the House. (Cao declined to support the final version after restrictions on funding for abortion services were loosened.)

But in an election cycle in which Democrats may need every seat possible to stave off a Republican wave, the ad should lend support to Richmond in the largely African-American district.

"New Orleans needs Cedric Richmond in Congress, and so do I," Obama said. "I hope you'll give Cedric your vote."