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The Obama girls' first TV interview may well be their last

July 9, 2008 | 11:45 am

On Tuesday night, "Access Hollywood" broadcast the first two segments of its four-part interview with Barack Obama and his family, taped on July 4 during a campaign stop in Butte, Mont. Parts 3 and 4 will air today and Thursday.

As we noted here and here, the Illinois senator and his wife, Michelle, have -- for the most part -- kept daughters Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, away from photographers' lenses and reporters' tape recorders, but they agreed to the girls' on-camera appearance on the syndicated gossip show.

Now, on CBS' "Early Show" this morning, Dad looks like he's having second thoughts.

Russ Mitchell, "Early Show" co-host: Senator, on another note, we're seeing your kids out on the campaign trail more, we've seen them on television as well. Will we see them more as the campaign moves forward?

Obama: No, I don't think so. You know, we had a unique situation in Montana where it was Malia's birthday, and all of us, I think, got caught up in the festivities, and so they had a chance to be their adorable selves on TV, but generally, we've been very protective of them. You know, in retrospect, I think, you know, if you'd asked me, we probably wouldn't have done it then, we wouldn't do it again.

Why not? Maybe it was Sasha's revelation, when told they'd be getting ice cream after the interview, that "my dad doesn't like sweets." (To which the Democratic presidential candidate -- mindful, perhaps, of not alienating a vast majority of the American public -- quickly responded: "I like pie.")

Update: The topic came up on all three network morning shows. Asked by Diane Sawyer of ABC's "Good Morning America" if he was sorry he and his wife agreed to the interview, Obama replied: "A little bit of a pause, Michelle and I, particularly given the way that 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." And on NBC's "Today" show, which has the same corporate parent (NBC Universal) as "Access Hollywood," Obama told Matt Lauer: "We wouldn't do it again, and we won't be doing it again."

-- Leslie Hoffecker