Fox News holdout Obama to appear on Sunday show

Fri Apr 25, 2008 2:49am EDT
 

By Paul J. Gough

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - "Obama Watch" is coming to a close.

After several weeks of counting the days since Barack Obama promised Chris Wallace that he would appear on "Fox News Sunday" -- 772 -- the campaign agreed Thursday to an exclusive appearance this weekend.

It will be Obama's only appearance on a public affairs show, and comes five days after his defeat in the Pennsylvania primary. Wallace said Obama will be the only guest on the show, which will probably also have a segment with the regular panel.

Wallace, whose show airs on Fox Broadcasting stations coast to coast as well as Fox News Channel, started the feature in early March after multiple tries to get the Illinois senator on the program. But 772 days refers to how much time had elapsed since the 2006 Gridiron Dinner, when Obama first told Wallace that he would appear on the show. The "Obama Watch" had rankled the campaign, but Wallace said it wasn't just that that brought the candidate to the program.

"They realized they've got a problem after Pennsylvania," Wallace told the Hollywood Reporter. "In the end, they do it for their own reasons, not ours. But they realized he needs to be able to reach out to working-class, blue-collar Democrats, moderate to conservative, and that's our target audience."

Hillary Clinton has appeared on the program twice.

Wallace said that he was told by the Obama campaign earlier in "Obama Watch" that the feature was obnoxious.

"My response now is that it was obnoxious and effective," he said.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

 
<p>Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) addresses a campaign rally held at the University of Indiana Southeast campus in New Albany, Indiana April 23, 2008. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes</p>