Obama Grants First Family Interview to 'Access Hollywood'

What do Angelina Jolie's pregnancy, Alex Rodriguez's love life, and Barack Obama have in common? Not much until now.

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., appears in a sit-down interview with his wife Michelle and daughters, Tuesday on "Access Hollywood," a nightly entertainment news program that's more apt to focus on the tawdry tales of Hollywood than the inner workings of Washington.

A hard-hitting interview on Obama's plans for Iraq or the economy, it was not.

But it does mark the first time the entire Obama family -- including daughters Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7 -- sat down for a family interview, though the Obama campaign insists it wasn't planned that way.

Public Figures, Private Lives

The interview, taped on the Fourth of July while the family vacationed in Butte, Mont., was far from the prying eyes of the horde of journalists that trail Obama every day during the campaign.

The interview raised the public profile of Obama's young children.

Malia told entertainment reporter Maria Menounos she's looking forward to decorating her room in the White House if her father wins in November.

"I enjoy decorating, so I get this whole new room to do whatever I want," Malia said, according to excepts provided by "Access Hollywood."

Children of presidential contenders have often been used in presidential campaign politics, often trotted out at victory rallies and posing for family photos.

But the balance between the public spotlight and private life can be tricky.

Chelsea Clinton, at 28, is almost 20 years older than the eldest Obama daughter, but has never granted an interview, despite being a near constant presence on the campaign trail for her mother's 2008 presidential election bid.

She even refused an interview during the primary season from a nine-year-old Scholastic News "kid reporter."

"Do you think your dad would be a good 'first man' in the White House?" Sydney Rieckhoff, a fourth grade student from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, asked Clinton in December.

"I'm sorry, I don't talk to the press, and that applies to you, unfortunately. Even though I think you're cute," Chelsea Clinton told the pint-sized journalist.

McCain's daughter, Meghan, 23, launched her own blog musing about politics and fashion, and many of the grown children of the 2008 presidential candidates appeared publicly to campaign for their parents.

Less is known about McCain's daughter Bridget, 16, who the McCains adopted as a baby from Bangladesh, or McCain's son Jimmy, 20, a Marine who returned home from Iraq in February.

Though, in fairness, Bridget McCain didn't take the Clinton route -- she did grant an interview to Scholastic News late last year.

The Obamas have largely shielded their daughters from the national media spotlight to date, but the campaign said the girls were eager to talk to entertainment reporter Maria Menounos and her boyfriend because she had recently interviewed the Jonas Brothers, a teen pop band.

The Obama campaign said they became so comfortable that they decided to join the interview, which the campaign characterizes as a whim.

During the interview, Malia appears personable and well-spoken, joking that she has given her father advice on how to greet her young friends after the Illinois senator tried to shake their hands.

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