Maria Menounos Reflects on the Obama Family Interview

During the seemingly endless 2008 presidential campaign cycle, Barack Obama has been careful to not expose his daughters, 10-year-old Malia and 7-year-old Sasha, to much media scrutiny. Which is why it was a huge get for Medford native Maria Menounos when she landed an interview with the entire Obama family for Access Hollywood.

1216060750The spot, which aired last week, showed a completely average young family. The kids were excited that they could get a dog when the campaign is over, and admitted they like it when their parents hold hands. But Obama later said that he regretted sitting down with Menounos.

“I think that we got carried away in the moment,” Obama told NBC Wednesday morning. “We were having a birthday party and everybody was laughing, and suddenly this thing cropped up, and I didn’t catch it quickly enough and I was surprised by the attention it got.”

We wanted to know what Menounos thought about the candidate’s reaction, so we checked in with her to see how it all went down.

Menounos told us than an Access Hollywood producer had been asking the Obamas for an exclusive that didn’t involve their children for a long time. Separately, Menounos had requested that the campaign grant some access to Malia and Sasha for her NBC Nightly News series about the children of presidential candidates. She said, “a series of circumstances” brought about the interview with the kids.

Despite Obama’s regrets, Menounos tells Boston Daily she’s fine with the fallout.

“It’s unfortunate, but I think that the real reason that he said what he said is that they don’t want to open themselves up to more interviews,” Menounos says. “It was a one-time thing, and it’s really hard to tell every journalist that they’re not going to get any interviews after we got one. I felt it was more about that than a knock on me, or what we did.”

It doesn’t hurt that most viewers enjoyed her interview with the family. “Our feedback on our website polls had 80 percent of people who were happy to see it and loved it,” Menounos says.

She isn’t sure if she’ll be sitting down with the candidate again anytime soon. “It depends on what show wants me to interview them for what,” she says, referencing her work on the Today Show, Access Hollywood, and Nightly News. “I’m going to be at the Democratic National Convention, so we may meet up again there. We’ll see.”