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Tilting at Windmills

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July 8, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

OBAMA ON ACCESS HOLLYWOOD....A query from The Corner:

Weird Choice [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

This is not certainly not the biggest issue of the election year, but why would Barack Obama let his daughters' first interview be with Access Hollywood?

That's an easy one: the kids get to meet Maria Menounos, the questions are guaranteed to be puffballs that stay a million miles away from political controversy, everyone is guaranteed to look good, and the whole thing is going to be aired on a show that reaches millions of viewers who don't ordinarily pay attention to politics. The only wonder of it is that Obama gets all this for free.

But there's a downside: they'll almost certainly follow up with a McCain interview one of these days. Unless he's dumb enough to turn them down, that is.

Kevin Drum 10:19 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (41)

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They're, what, 6 and 10? Should he have had them on CNN? Meet the Press? Were they going to discuss Abu Ghraib?

Although I do think they missed an opportunity--it would have been awesome if they could have lined up Kermit the frog in his little reporter trenchcoat...

Posted by: baltar's mommy on July 8, 2008 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

Those kids are super-cute. That's enough right there.

Posted by: riffle on July 8, 2008 at 10:30 PM | PERMALINK

So you don't think they can use this to nail obama on some honest dialog about FISA?

I called his campaign today - got a bunch of lies about how the 2 versions in house and senate weren't the same, so that it could not become law anyhow.

This is patently false, but it is what his staff is now shoveling by the pantsloads - he is a liar and actually stands for nothing of substance at all, certainly not change.

Say what you want about helm, but he couldn't get away with this:

Here's a MUST SEE video - resident's of Chicago talking about obama's lack of integrity and substance:

Obama's Shameful Housing Record

Dr. King, who was mercilessly hounded and spied on by the federal government, must be rolling in his grave.

The first African American presidential nominee agrees with richard nixon, "if the president says it's legal, then it is legal."

Sure, mccain is a nut, but he will be less dangerous than the master of double-talk.

Posted by: on July 8, 2008 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

No, click here for a MUST SEE video of one of my favorite memories from George H.W. Bush’s presidency. What a class act that Bush family is!

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on July 8, 2008 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

why would Barack Obama let his daughters' first interview be with Access Hollywood?

In a country whose leading news organizations are the Onion and The Daily Show, why not?

Posted by: AJB on July 8, 2008 at 11:13 PM | PERMALINK

I clicked on that link, then had to go wash the stink off my eyeballs for reading The Corner. NR does not deserve to be linked to. Can't you just refer to them without the URL?

Posted by: Foo on July 8, 2008 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

McCain should respond by letting Entertainment Tonight interview Bridget McCain, the invisible McCain child. Said interview would be via telephone, of course, since no one is allowed to see Bridget.

Posted by: Pocket Rocket on July 8, 2008 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

Humanizing.

Families.

Whatever.

Posted by: flubber on July 9, 2008 at 12:08 AM | PERMALINK

No, click here for a MUST SEE video of one of my favorite memories from George H.W. Bush’s presidency. What a class act that Bush family is!

Of all the sins of Bush the Elder, I think puking at dinner in Japan is the one that I can forgive him.

Neither speaking out sooner nor using any influence to rein in his idiot son is not one that I can forgive him.

Posted by: Equal Opportunity Cynic on July 9, 2008 at 12:40 AM | PERMALINK

Lopez is the same woman who thinks it would be a great idea for GW to be a high-school social studies teacher...shows you how bright she is.

Posted by: Matt in Eugene on July 9, 2008 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK

This is rich, coming from a person who was dreaming out loud about DeciderGuy's post service service, reaching out to 'touch' our kids by teaching them civics.

Honestly, what's up with these people? If that Obama family interview wasn't the most refreshing and endearing glimpse of this family as pure Americana, I haven't seen it.

Hate the guy for his politics or because he's a Democrat, but would it kill them to stop towing the Party line for a brief moment and just pass if they can't find something nice to say about the Obamas as a family?

I'm really glad I don't wake up every day viewing this world from the construct of a NRO editorialist. It must be a living nightmare.

Posted by: Innocent Bystander on July 9, 2008 at 12:56 AM | PERMALINK

Larry King? No, guess he would scare the shit out of the girls.

Posted by: keith g on July 9, 2008 at 1:19 AM | PERMALINK

My picks for interviewers:

GladOS from "Portal". "After successful completion of this interview, there will be cake. Stand by in the cake acceptance position while we retrieve your... cake."

Hunter S. Thompson. Did I just say that out loud? Oh well. She'll see the bats soon enough.


Posted by: anonymous on July 9, 2008 at 1:34 AM | PERMALINK

k-lo is bitter.

Posted by: linda on July 9, 2008 at 8:08 AM | PERMALINK

I guess this means there won't be any questions about what their kitchen counter tops are made of.

Posted by: August J. Pollak on July 9, 2008 at 8:09 AM | PERMALINK

I read the K-low bit, and wondered why he's letting his daughters do an interview with anyone (since they're pretty young, etc.) but it's a family interview, not a daughter interview, and a nice friendly one at that, with the benefits that Kevin mentions. They come across as friendly relaxed people whom I'd be comfortable having a beer or juicebox with. It will be so exciting to have them in the White House, for a variety of reasons.

Posted by: bdbd on July 9, 2008 at 8:14 AM | PERMALINK
But there's a downside: they'll almost certainly follow up with a McCain interview one of these days. Unless he's dumb enough to turn them down, that is.

I would not be a 100% sure that turning an interview like this down is guaranteed to be dumb.

Scene 1. negotiations
Spawn of Karl 1: Under no condition should there be any mention of the Exxon lobbyists!!!

Access hollywood: Lobbywhat...? Okay, no sure!

Spawn of Karl 2: Or the CNOOC one.
Spawn of Karl 1: Or obviously Yukos one and Saudi ones.
Spawn of Karl 2: Or anything to do with lobbyist working for dictators
Spawn of Karl 1: Or his crazy budget, his attempts to become a democrat...
Spawn of Karl 2: ... Abortion, obviously...
Spawn of Karl 1: or the fact that while he talks "surge" and "Petreus all the time that he did want more troops but not to restore confidence in the Baghdad government, like the Petreus manual teaches, but more to level Fallujah to the ground to try and scare some suicide bombers straight.
Spawn of Karl 2: or the fact that we lied and said over and over again that Obama shifted his position on Iraq only to cover up that McCain actually is shifting his position!

Access Hollywood: Uh.... Sure, no I can promise the cute blonde wont bring up any of those.

Scene 2. the interview
Access: What do you think about Brandjolinas latest (just a guess) baby?

McCain: BrandjoWHO? Uh...Oh...Yeah! No I am a big fan of him... Uh, I have all his LP`s. You really should come over and I will show you my videocassette collection. Brandolie offers, uh? huck, Change you can believe in Ha.....uh?....Ha....Uh?.....Ha..... And how about the game last weekend, I mean, wow, right?

McCains inside voice: Must! Keep! Smiling!... Excellent, they dont suspect a thing!

Access: What... What is that your doing with your face?
Access: Oh my god the old guy is having a stroke!
The young host jumps on top of McCain and start to perform CPR

Posted by: yt on July 9, 2008 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

It's a reachout to that segment of America amazed to see black kids talking in complete sentences, and Obama's kids not wearing dashikis and chanting "death to the running dogs!"
You know . . .the independants.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on July 9, 2008 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

yt, that cracked me up.

Posted by: shortstop on July 9, 2008 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

Obama told Diane Sawyer on ABC this morning that he doesn't think he'd do that type interview again. After all these comments, I can see why. It was just a nice chat with his wife and kids, already. Calm down, people; it wasn't the end of the world!!

Posted by: bigapplegeorgiapeach on July 9, 2008 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

After the criticisms of Clinton for having her adult daughter go out and campaign for her - msm called it pimping, I am surprised Obama okayed this. Most presidential candidates try very hard to shield their minor children from press scrutiny. Even celebrities try to do that. Why would Obama throw his into the frenzy?

Posted by: lynn on July 9, 2008 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

Access Hollywood could ask McCain's son why he got kicked out of Culver Academy.

Posted by: reino on July 9, 2008 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

But there's a downside: they'll almost certainly follow up with a McCain interview one of these days. Unless he's dumb enough to turn them down, that is. —Kevin Drum

Are you kidding? The more McCain speaks in public, the worse he looks. He is so obviously overwhelmed by all this that I expect him to develop shingles sometime soon.

Posted by: Jeff II on July 9, 2008 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

"Why would Obama throw his into the frenzy?"

Maybe his kids wanted to go on TV and this was a good way to do it. The younger kid is fours years too old to fit in on The O'Reilly Factor.

Posted by: reino on July 9, 2008 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK
Why would Obama throw his into the frenzy?

First, I want to observe along with pretty much everyone else that the girls and their parents were pitch perfect. Still, the Obamas are right to call it quits after this one delightful and candid glimpse at daughters destined to be scrutinized for the next decade.

I watched MSNBC absorb and decide how to cover the potentially troubling interview--from KO (Rachel Maddow hosting) to Dan Abrams's very good segment with Menounos, who explained that it was the Fourth of July, and the Access Hollywood interview had been arranged by her producer (who had been after a Barack-Michelle sitdown for months). The producer had not sought to arrange for the daughters to sit down. I think this spontaneity explains the impromptu and natural feel of the Menounos conversation with the Obama girls.

Background: It was the ten-year-old's birthday, it was Montana, it was a picnic. The girls had watched Menounos interact with their parents most of the day. The inclusion of the girls happened "organically," Menounos explained to Abrams. Toward the end of the day, the 6-year-old simply squeezed in and sat down between her parents, and the older girl sat on her mom's right.

Menounos took it from there, probably with a mixture of trepidation and delight. She was great. Abrams then brought on Lynn Sweet and Michele Bernard alongside Menounos for further discussion and the consensus was quite positive for the Obamas.

There were several remarkable things about the family tableau, but overall what struck me the most was how relaxed the parents were.

Posted by: paxr55 on July 9, 2008 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

"The younger kid is fours years too old to fit in on The O'Reilly Factor."

Made me think of what mincemeat the older girl could make of O'Leilly. THAT would be fun to see!

Posted by: Cal Gal on July 9, 2008 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

The problem McDodo has letting his family be interviewed by a mass media program is one of his children does not fit the racial profile that his consituency expects from their candidate. Do not expect to even see this child on the stage celebrating McDodo's nomination at the Republican convention.

Posted by: Brojo on July 9, 2008 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

I thought the Access Hollywood piece was a pleasant interview. Nothing inappropriate about including the kids. Just a warm, superficial glimpse at the Obama family. No harm done, probably a bit of good for the Obama campaign.

Posted by: McCord on July 9, 2008 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

I love how the Culver Academy story keeps getting tossed out. Please, tell us, reino, because so far on a number of blogs you (or someone like you) keeps throwing out the question, and as far as I can tell, there's nothing on the Web to answer it or even verify that it's true. McCain's son that you reference is now a lance corporal in the Marines. So what gives?

Posted by: Yawner on July 9, 2008 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Why would McDodo's son forgo a Naval Academy education to ge a grunt for the always fifi?

Posted by: on July 9, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Sniping at McCain's kids, or insinuating stuff about them, is not cricket, seems to me. Could be that one kid, now a marine, failed spectacularly at a private school and maybe has an attitude. I don't know and don't care.

The bona fide stories about character, which touch on family credit card balances and unpaid taxes on that seventh home say more, more credibly. I do think that was a $7,000 Missoni flowered number Cindy was wearing last week in Mexico. Jeez.

Posted by: paxr55 on July 9, 2008 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

As a kid, we watched this and other shows before dinner. They were always new, and sometimes you'd get to see pieces of movies.

The articles are even more insipid now, and you can so those movie clips on the internet, but...

...I think their target audience is the same.

Posted by: Crissa on July 9, 2008 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

McCain and a couple grandkids? Sorry, he just won't be able to compete.

Posted by: catherineD on July 9, 2008 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

The only wonder of it is that Obama gets all this for free.

How much did Ahnuld have to pay for his appearances on Oprah and the Tonight Show?

Posted by: josef on July 9, 2008 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

I've heard rumors that are too ugly to repeat here. We're not talking about grades or intelligence. Hopefully somebody will look into them by interviewing his classmates, and hopefully what I've heard is a fabrication.

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