When the Obamas allowed a media organization to interview their children, many people wondered at the choice, not just of publicizing the girls but also in the choice of outlet. Access Hollywood? Today, Barack Obama admitted that he used poor judgment and wouldn’t make the same mistake again:
“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.”
Michelle Malkin has the entire transcript from this excerpt. In it, Obama states that he “got carried away in the moment … And, uh, I didn’t catch it quickly enough,” not “a bit”, as the AP quotes. She points out that a television interview of this type is hardly a spontaneous event:
A four-part interview that probably entailed hours of set-up, makeup, mic checks, and post-wrap schmoozing…and he “didn’t catch it quickly enough.”
This isn’t the worst flip-flop in the world; Michelle’s children will be greatly helped by shielding them from the press, and no one really wants to see them exploited in this campaign. However, it appears that the Obamas at least tacitly attempted to do just that. Obama is spending July trying to forge a personal connection with the American electorate, in part to distance himself from the notion that he is an elitist intellectual who gets embarrassed by Americans who cling to guns, religion, and their native language. And of all the media outlets Obama could have chosen, nothing says “exploitation” like Access Hollywood.
It doesn’t exactly speak to his judgment, at least as a candidate. He’s been running on the national stage for over eighteen months now; shouldn’t he have figured this much out by now?