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'Fox News Sunday' asks: Where's Obama?

March 16, 2008 |  3:01 pm

For the presidential candidates, appearing on the Sunday talk shows and submitting to professional interrogation is an important part of the job description.

Voters tune in to see how they handle grillings by Chris Wallace of "Fox News Sunday," George Stephanopoulos of ABC's "This Week," Tim Russert of NBC's "Meet the Press," Bob Schieffer of CBS' "Face the Nation" and Wolf Blitzer of CNN's "Late Edition."  (Last September, in an indication that she was either supremely confident or, perhaps, a glutton for punishment, Hillary Clinton hit for the cycle, appearing on all five shows in one morning.)

But Wallace indicated Sunday that he isn't feeling the love from at least one White House hopeful.  (Some Democrats don't consider Fox News friendly territory, ...

just as many Republicans -- and even Obama supporters -- call CNN the "Clinton News Network." ) So at the end of today's program, he introduced "the first in what will be a weekly update on Barack Obama."

"Many of you have sent us e-mails asking why the senator won't come on 'Fox News Sunday' and face tough questioning like every other candidate, including, repeatedly, Hillary Clinton," Wallace said.  "Back in March of 2006, I met with Obama, and he promised me, face to face, he would come on this program.  But so far, he has not.

"Well, as of today, we are starting our 'Obama Watch,' " Wallace continued, as the screen showed a ticking digital clock like the one on the Fox show "24" -- complete with "24"-like sound effects.  "It has now been 730 days, 13 hours, 53 minutes and nine -- no, 10 seconds and counting since Obama agreed to be a guest on 'Fox News Sunday.'

"Senator, when are you coming on?"

Asked about Wallace's remarks, campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor declined to get into the details of the candidate's television appearances, other than to say: "Sen. Obama did an interview with Fox News as recently as Friday.”

Tune in next week.

-- Leslie Hoffecker

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