OBAMA’S KIDS….Andrew Sullivan goes ballistic about the Obama family interview with Access Hollywood:
I can barely credit that Michelle Obama agreed to this and that Barack Obama went along with it — it’s not what they would have done a few months ago. One great aspect of the Obama marriage has been the way in which they appear to have brought up their daughters as very regular girls, down-to-earth, normal and sane. Displaying them in this way was bad judgment and poor parenting. Fame is a toxin. Children deserve to be protected from it as much as they would from lead paint.
I gather that a fair number of people feel the same way, and even Obama himself now says he wouldn’t do it again. Am I living in a bubble when I say that I’m just flabbergasted by this reaction?
I mean, have you seen the interview? To call it a puffball is to insult puffballs everywhere. “What do you do that makes your parents mad?” “Do you think it would be cool to live in the White House?” That kind of thing. The kids were probably in front of the camera for about 20 minutes total, and were almost criminally sweet and charming the entire time. I think I might have sprouted a couple of new cavities just watching.
Now, sure: of course young kids should be generally off limits from the campaign press. But does that mean they should literally never be seen on TV? What’s the harm? Families are a staple of American politics, people are legitimately curious about what Obama’s family is like, and a few minutes with Maria Menounos is the safest, least toxic interview imaginable. It’s the 21st century equivalent of one of those carefully staged Life photo spreads from the 50s. Shouldn’t we all calm down about this?