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Oprah's White House special: A preview


In this Dec. 3 photo released by the White House, President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama pose with Oprah Winfrey in the Blue Room of the White House. (AP Photo/The White House, Pete Souza)

By Garance Franke-Ruta
A lot has changed since the Obamas were kids -- so much that even the Easy Bake Oven has become easier. But the first couple's favorite toys as children -- a dollhouse for the first lady, a basketball and bicycle for the president -- have remained popular classics.

Those are among the feel-good revelations contained in ABC's "Christmas at the White House: An Oprah Primetime Special," set to air Sunday at 10 p.m. Eastern time. Talk show host and Obama endorser Oprah Winfrey was in town last week to film the special, following a protracted negotiation for the president's time.

"From the very first day they moved into the White House, I started calling Robert Gibbs and asking not for the first interview because number one, I didn't think I was going to get the first interview for the first 100 days -- but I wanted an opportunity to sit down with them in a comfortable setting that all of America would be familiar and relate to," Winfrey said in a statement released by her production company along with some advance excerpts from the show.

"So I started asking when they first moved in to do a Christmas Special, because I wanted to be at the White House during Christmas time and to experience their first Christmas in the White House," she continued. "So this has been in the making for a very, very long time."

Winfrey walks the president and first lady down memory lane.

"Well I got a bike one year and I think you know getting that first big kid 10 speed bike that's always..." he says.

"Special," chimes in the first lady.

"Special," the president continues. "That's always special. I remember that one. You know, I do remember the one time I met my father he was visiting during Christmas and he gave me a basketball and -- the degree to which I came to love basketball -- it wasn't until much later in life that I realized, 'Actually, he gave me that basketball.' I think there was some cause and effect there in terms of the degree to which I just ended up taking up the sport as a kid who didn't know his dad."

Michelle favored "a metal doll house with plastic furniture," but her homemaking skills back then were not as deft as they are today, she says. "I really didn't know how to set up a house so I had all the furniture lined up along the walls as opposed to nestled around the fireplace," she recalls.

As for that Easy Bake Oven, introduced as a toy in 1963, "you know once you run out of the mix it's like you're done with it," she said. "Nowadays it's easy," she said -- you just order more online.

By Web Politics Editor  |  December 11, 2009; 3:23 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Washington Life , White House  
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Comments

Barack Obama's dazzle seems to be wearing off.

Posted by: mock1ngb1rd | December 12, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Thy part is with broken saber
To rise on the last redoubt;

LOUISE IMOGEN GUINEY, 'The Kings.'
http://tinkys1941.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!DCD7544ECCB8065F!236.entry

Posted by: edtroyhampton | December 12, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Well, carlbatey, I'm sure you could run right down to W's gated paradise in Texas and he'd welcome you like a long-lost bro!

Posted by: LongTimeRez | December 12, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Lord! How I miss George Bush.

Posted by: carlbatey | December 12, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I can only pity the writers of some of these emails. They articulate their ignorance within their rants. I would ask them only what sort of shape was the country in when Obama took over after 8 years of Republican rule? To those who still suffer unemployment etc., how can one expect one man to solve all our problems in less than a year. Give him a chance!

Posted by: ssg4444 | December 12, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Merry Christmas my fellow Americans, may you find the true meaning of it in your hearts one day... as opposed to the ugly thoughts emanating from your brains... and posted on this site.

Posted by: AverageJane | December 12, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I always watch the White House Christmas specials and look forward to enjoying another view of our country's most famous home. Happy holidays to all.

Posted by: 12345leavemealone | December 12, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Another "photo shoot"

Posted by: riain | December 12, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I have no interest in watching this show and remain perpetually offended by Obamas' sexism - commenting on Michelle's "homemaking" skills just makes me sick.

I hate the Obama promotion of sexual bigotry at every step and opportunity, so I can't wait for them to be gone.

Time for a real change for American women - we have waited long enough.

Posted by: mgd1 | December 12, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Hey, look the columnist found his true talent-- writing for TV GUIDE

Posted by: tru-indy | December 12, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

to us the poor and unemployed...
who cares what race he is...
we care about jobs...
that which obama has not cared for...
to all of us, poor and wanting...
have a Happy Christmas obama...

Posted by: DwightCollins | December 12, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I cannot believe the ignorance on display in some of these comments. Although there is an ideological difference among some, the negative thread on this blog is driven by race. Get over it people. From a proud American of Puerto Rican descent whose family has lived in this country for 100 years.

Posted by: fcastello1 | December 12, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I cannot believe the ignorance on display in some of these comments. Although there is an ideological difference among some, the negative thread on this blog is driven by race. Get over it people. From a proud American of Puerto Rican descent whose family have lived in this country for 100 years.

Posted by: fcastello1 | December 12, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

segeny: If you are American, he is your president, elected with a good margin - as opposed to the precious puppet on a string, who very possibly WAS illegal on the post.

Obama had to take over a country in shambles, and instead of helping him out, his opponents are hoping he will fail - so much for being pro-America!

You have, for once, intelligent people in the White House doing their best to make America a good society. I suggest you support them.

If you want to see racism, just read this board - people showing utter disrespect and using words as apes, ho's, and more. Disgusting. No style, no brains, no kindness. And that's supposed to be American? Beware - we might believe you!

Posted by: asoders22 | December 12, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

The OVOMITS are RACISTS! Why not invite the BLK CRUD - you know homeless/welfare trash to visit......YOU used them to get elected but they are not good enough for an invite.....

Posted by: Sparky15 | December 12, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

assodors22 - - the pretender occupying the White House is NOT MY president and never will be. What he IS is a sophomoronic, anti-American racist - - just like those whom he appoints to high government offices and whom he married. Take the blinders off, put down the KoolAde, and see the destruction that he is wreaking on what once was the USA (but is rapidly morphing into the USSA - see Pravda!).

Posted by: segeny | December 12, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Great photo, I love the coordinated colors Michelle and Oprah have chosen, and I wish I could see the program!

As for the stupid un-American, racist nazis on this board – why don’t you leave the country and start some nation of your own in a desert? Obviously you feel only contempt for your own constitution, your democracy and your President. Americans died to free the world of Hitler, and you mock their sacrifice by walking right in his footsteps. Shame on you! You look extremely bad in the eyes of the world.

Posted by: asoders22 | December 12, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Racist? Did Oprah ever did a Holiday Special with other first families? I don't think so but since she is black that is not racism, right?
The Obamas favorite guest are 99 blacks. Michelle read only lo black kids, she invites to plant her garden to black kids, she invites to concerts only to black kids. Wonder if those black kids are from Washington poor neighborhoods or from their friends that took over the white house, which does look white anylonger.

Posted by: rosalynneus | December 12, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

This is a great photo of three great individuals. During Christmas season, what a shame to see such disrespectful racist and downright evil comments....directed at the first family.

As an AMERICAN, I am extremely disappointed. What do you hope to come out of this other than hate, negativity and the perpetuation of ignorance? Isn't this incongruent with the whole season?

I feel sorry for those who clearly hate the First Family and associates, because some people just can't help themselves. Racism is alive and well, but it never seems to exist out in the open where it can truly be confronted, quarantined and promptly deleted.

Posted by: Anacostiaque | December 12, 2009 7:22 AM | Report abuse

This is a great photo of three great individuals. During Christmas season, what a shame to see such disrespectful racist and downright evil comments....directed at the first family.

As an AMERICAN, I am extremely disappointed. What do you hope to come out of this other than hate, negativity and the perpetuation of ignorance? Isn't this incongruent with the whole season?

I feel sorry for those who clearly hate the First Family and associates, because some people just can't help themselves. Racism is alive and well, but it never seems to exist out in the open where it can truly be confronted, quarantined and promptly deleted.

Posted by: Anacostiaque | December 12, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

I'm dreaming of a black Christmas

Just like the one never knew.........

I didn't know that people with the name hussein celebrated Christmas

Posted by: charlietuna666 | December 12, 2009 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Comments posted here are violent against basic decency concerning the president, and it should be stopped, immediately. It's unbelieveable that this level of disrespect for basic human decency is tolerated. It is insane. Not Sane.

Posted by: mjkellyview | December 12, 2009 6:59 AM | Report abuse

Hum, I was never interested in Christmas at the White House before, but I never posted nasty, mean-spirited messages on websites about them.

Oprah, thank you for showing us the Obamas at Christmas. You will make a lot of folks very happy. You're a wonderful person!!!

Merry Christmas Mr. President. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

Posted by: smartgirl312 | December 12, 2009 6:50 AM | Report abuse

Oprah Windbag (forgive me, I couldn't resist it) is a professional and, as such, she or any of her ilk, should not be using their profession to demonstrate their political preferences unless it's for some specific cause such as peace in Afghanistan. I don't know how she can do this and then assume an objective posture. I didn't see Oprah going X-Mas gaga in the Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, or Bush II White Houses. By doing so with Obama, she is being overtly racist. I think her 'professionalism' would dictate otherwise. Professionalism may be stretching it since she's a being a big grandstander what with the free cars and setting up a girls school in South Africa. South Africa??? How about the girls on the South Side of Chigago?

Posted by: Calabrese99 | December 12, 2009 6:23 AM | Report abuse

I bet that 90% of those, who woted Obamas into White House, are very sorry right now that they didn't vote for McCain's ticket. So, republicans would be very wise, if they use this attitude towards their re-birth in government, utilizing all parts of former McCain ticket to endorse those who rum in 2010 elections and further.
I am one of this 90%, and I feel tricked and cheated on. Besides, and this is the most important part, the person with the life philosophy and personality of Obama is the very wrong choice for the leader in our extremely critical time, actually, terminal choice.

Posted by: aepelbaum | December 12, 2009 4:22 AM | Report abuse

These people do not look bad. Their policies, on the contrary, do look very bad.

Posted by: aepelbaum | December 12, 2009 3:55 AM | Report abuse

sounds prejudiced and discrimtory. is the whiner and obozo having a hannukkah or muslim special? diversity,equal opportunity.troops are dying to view this event

Posted by: pofinpa | December 12, 2009 1:51 AM | Report abuse

Funny how all the 8 years Bush was POTUS, the "Christmas at the White House" special was on HGTV. Now that Odumba's in office, Oprah thinks it's time for a national network show. Yeah, no media bias there.

Posted by: profmoriarty | December 12, 2009 1:20 AM | Report abuse

"User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site."

Why are openly racist comments still up then?

Posted by: mspqr1 | December 12, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Gee, there sure are a lot of bitter, angry, delusional people in this discussion. It's CHRISTMAS, people. Can you lighten up long enough to, you know, celebrate the season? We HAVE a President and First Lady who comport themselves with dignity and style - is that just intolerable for you? Many of us are eager to see the White House decorated for Christmas, and Oprah is a fine interviewer. Y'all are just JEALOUS.

Posted by: Bajagirl | December 11, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Oprah "I Lost A Thousand Pounds" Winfrey sure seems to spent a lot of time around old Barack.

Posted by: Tupac_Goldstein | December 11, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Gee - I must have missed the White House specials with all those 'whitey' presidents. Racist b*tch.

Posted by: segeny | December 11, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Not that i am a fashion editor or anything but all that purple or red purple looks tacky.

hey maybe i just have no fashion sense

Posted by: scon101 | December 11, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Did they check Oprah's invitation?

Posted by: swmuva | December 11, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Christmas with the Liar in Chief.

Posted by: rg019571 | December 11, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Christmas with The Liar in Chief!

Posted by: rg019571 | December 11, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

A president and first lady we should all be proud of!

Posted by: nana6 | December 11, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Does Bob Gibbs play the frog in this flick too?

Posted by: jahoby | December 11, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Does Oprah live in the basement of the White House?

Posted by: grunk
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Look at the body language.

Michelle lives in the basement.

Posted by: dottydo | December 11, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

The icky grinches should send us all an Obamacar for Christmas, since we already paid for one.

Will people empower this kook with another dime or any respect?


NOPE.
People want the keys to their Whiotehouse and Airforce one back.

Posted by: dottydo | December 11, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Look its a picture of 2 bigassed Ho-Ho-Hos and a big eared elf.

Posted by: dashriprock | December 11, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Beautiful photo. Thank you,Oprah. We'll be sure to watch.

Posted by: smartgirl312 | December 11, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

One comment I heard was Yucky poo poo.
Everyone there turned a funny head tilt, to which the response was a point at the photo.
Yucky = Obama
poo = Michelle
poo = Oprah
Yucky poo poo is now the name of the Photo.

Posted by: dottydo | December 11, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Does Oprah live in the basement of the White House?

Posted by: grunk | December 11, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

The photo of these three actually got Boos openly and loudly today.
Oprah just ended her career.

These 3 talking about Christmas is going over like the O-O-O-lympic bid and balloon boy.

A total crisis puppy fraud, whose has no more flight with the people in the USA, and two ilk sidekicks shoving the fraud to capture your wallets.


One comment I heard is that "the 3 are Un-American activity, pulling a shell game on credibility".

Several were calling them the 3 Talibans in "our house".

Posted by: dottydo | December 11, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

The photo of these three actually got Boos openly and loudly today.
Oprah just ended her career.

These 3 talking about Christmas is going over like the O-O-O-lympic bid and balloon boy.

A total crisis puppy fraud, whose has no more flight with the people in the USA, and two ilk sidekicks shoving the fraud to capture your wallets.


One comment I heard is the 3 are Un-American activity pulling a shell game on credibility.

Posted by: dottydo | December 11, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Ditto planet of the apes.......

Posted by: goziner | December 11, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Planet of the Apes, Part IV?

Posted by: cschotta1 | December 11, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

The President and FLOTUS are wonderful. Merry Christmas to them both.

Posted by: Mr_Mike | December 11, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

I did not expect Oprah to celebrate a Christmas without God.

Posted by: RayOne | December 11, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

I really wish he would stop partying long enough to help those of us that are getting stomped into the ground. Those that haven't received a BIG TARP bonus!

Posted by: WingsofCrystal | December 11, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Ugh.

Posted by: mpg515 | December 11, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

It's "KWANZAA" time!!

Posted by: cschotta1 | December 11, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

These three mug shots should have numbers underneath them. Ridiculous!!!

Posted by: highwaybluesoccer | December 11, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Michelles favorite gift was a new food stamp card and Barrys was a whistle carved from the skull of some Kenyan lizard.

Posted by: Dionysis | December 11, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Comrades: One panel on the Posts banner show the White House crew in company with Divine Opraah, and another depicts a hungry youngster sipping from a yellow bowl . . . . can't we have a bit more diversity in these images which echo around the world??

Posted by: rep15 | December 11, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Have they found Trig's birth certificate yet?

Posted by: blarsen1 | December 11, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

This is all assuming that he is legally PRESIDENT in the White House on Christmas ; )

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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