Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from the LA Times

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

Obama and family go 'Access Hollywood,' talk about slacks and stuff

July 7, 2008 |  8:45 pm

Every day, the presidential candidates face probing questions about their plans and policies from the reporters who travel almost everywhere with them. On the weekends, they're grilled by the moderators of the Sunday talk shows. So it must have been a real change of pace for Barack Obama when he sat down in Butte, Mont., over the Fourth of July weekend with “Access Hollywood.”

Yes, the syndicated gossip show that normally brings you the latest in the tabloid-friendly lives of Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and his family filmed an interview in Montana with Access Hollywoodis presenting an interview with the Democrats' nominee-in-waiting and his wife, Michelle, along with their children, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7.

The Obamas have kept the girls out of the media spotlight, but Associated Press reports that they allowed "Access Hollywood" to talk with Malia and Sasha. Perhaps it's because interviewer Maria Menounos is no Tim Russert. If the excerpts sent out by the show are any guide, forget any talk of troop drawdowns or sky-high gas prices. Instead, think fashion and fun and Barack's old slacks.

On his newfound status as a style icon, the Illinois senator says: “I’m baffled by this whole thing myself, because I hate to shop.” (That's true, daughter Malia tells Menounos; on one shopping trip, her father "bought three pairs of black pants and the same jacket in green, brown and black.")

Michelle Obama says she keeps the romance alive in their 15-year marriage by telling her husband that she is proud of him. Sasha and Malia like it, she says, when "Mommy and Daddy hold hands."  (Awwww.)

And Malia offers a suggestion to the candidate for wooing young people. After he greeted one of her friends with a formal handshake, she says, she told her dad: "You really don't shake kids' hands that much. ... You just wave or say hi."

The four-part interview -- an excerpt is here -- will be broadcast over three nights this week starting Tuesday.

-- Leslie Hoffecker

Photo credit: "Access Hollywood"; Maria Menounos (second from right) with Malia (left), Sasha, Michelle and Barack Obama