AP in USA Today: Barack Obama says he has had second thoughts about allowing his daughters to give a TV interview and he wants to keep them out of the media spotlight.
The Democratic presidential candidate and his wife, Michelle, allowed the cable entertainment news show Access Hollywood to interview their daughters, Malia and Sasha, as Malia celebrated her 10th birthday. Segments of the interview began airing this week.
On Wednesday, Obama said he questioned his decision after seeing how much attention the interview had received. The Obamas had been keeping Malia and 7-year-old Sasha mostly out of the spotlight.
"It was an exception, it was Malia's birthday, we were in Montana, everybody was having a good time," he told Good Morning America talk show on ABC. "I think we got carried away a little bit. Generally what makes them so charming is the fact that they're not spending a lot of time worrying about TV cameras or politics and we want to keep it that way."
Asked if he regretted the interview, Obama said: "A little bit of pause, Michelle and I, particularly given the way it sort of went around the cable stations. I don't think it's healthy and it's something that we'll be avoiding in the future."
LSB: How refreshing! He regrets an action he took – he didn't dodge the question, or blame his opponent, or question the motives of the reporter asking the question. Yes, the kids should be left out of the process, but it's only natural that there is some curiosity about them. Not since Amy Carter have we had kids this young in the White House. (I think Chelsea Clinton was a couple of years older, but even that was 16 years ago.) From a political point of view, this was brilliant move, even if it was spontaneous: put the kids out there for a moment so the electorate – especially the white electorate – can visualize the Obamas as a “normal” family; and then yank them back in so they look protective. But if they put the kids out there again, look for the Repugs to make an issue of them.