Obama on The View: president is chatshow guest

Adam Gabbatt, The Guardian

Barack Obama today becomes the first sitting US President to make a studio apperance on a daytime television chatshow, reflecting on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the economic crisis and the fact his soon-to-be teenage daughters still, for the moment, “like” him.

Obama’s third appearance on ABC’s The View – he was a guest when a presidential candidate in 2008 and earlier when promoting his book Dreams from My Father in 2004 – was pre-recorded yesterday and will be aired in the US today.

The View has been compared to the UK’s Loose Women, but with a harder edge and more focus on news. Obama is not the only person making their return today – the show’s creator, executive producer, and co-host Barbara Walters will make her first appearance since having heart surgery in May.

In snippets released by ABC prior to the show airing, Obama walked out to the now seemingly obligatory screams and cheers from the audience before kissing all five of the show’s female hosts – including Whoopi Goldberg.

“Well this is fun,” Obama exclaimed, before immediately being brought back to earth by the 80-year-old Walters, one of the most revered broadcast journalists in the US.

“Well we hope so,” Walters said. “But you know you’ve gone through a little bit of a beating over the last month, do you really think being on a show with five women who never shut up is going to be calming?”

Unperturbed, the president claimed he had been “trying to find a show that Michelle [Obama] actually watched”, adding: “And so I thought this is it, right here.”

Despite Walters’ warning, the footage released so far suggest the appearance was actually relatively calming, with Obama appearing relaxed, talking about family life in the White House.

Asked by Walters to describe “what has been the rose, and what has been the thorn in the last month”, the president was quick to describe his floral moment.

“The rose has to be a couple of days we took in Maine with Michelle, Sasha and Malia, and we went on bike rides and hikes,” he said.

“The girls are getting old enough now where they’re not quite teenagers yet, so they still like you,” he explained, to laughter from the audience.

“They’re full of opinions and ideas and observations, and its just a great age.”

Describing the thorn, Obama had to think a little harder – protesting “where do I begin here”.

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