Obamas beat Romneys to ‘The View’


President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama will tape an episode of "The View" on Monday, Sept. 20 to air the next day, in their first joint appearance on the daytime show. (Susan Walsh/AP)
September 20, 2012

Who knew that one of the biggest battlegrounds of this election would be ABC’s “The View”?

One day after GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s camp issued a statement saying that he and wife Ann would love to visit the daytime talk show in October, the show announced that the first couple had agreed to stop by and chat next Tuesday, beating the Romneys to the punch.

Game on!

Within hours of “The View’s” announcement, NBC’s “Tonight” show announced that Ann Romney would do her inaugural late-night interview on Jay Leno’s show that same day.

Her fellow “Tonight” guest that night?

Seth MacFarlane.

And Mitt Romney thinks Joy Behar is sharp-tongued?

Romney had been caught calling “The View” a “high-risk” proposition because of its four “sharp-tongued” non-conservative co-hosts. On Wednesday’s broadcast, the ladies of “The View” had a spirited conversation about Romney’s description of their show, from a video that was secretly recorded at a private, $50,000-a-plate fundraiser in Boca Raton, Fla.

“The View,” Romney said, is “high-risk, because, of the five women on it, only one is conservative, and four are sharp-tongued and not conservative.”

(He also said that CBS late-night host Dave Letterman “hates” him because he’s done Jay Leno’s show more often, and that he was wary of “Saturday Night Live” because an appearance on that show could be “slapstick, and not presidential.”)

“If you can’t handle four sharp-tongued women, how are you going to handle the country?” Sherri Shepherd wondered on Wednesday’s show.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck (the aforementioned conservative) said she’d gotten a statement from the Romney campaign. “The Romneys would love to once more join the sharp-tongued chatter in October,” she said on Wednesday’s show.

In an ABC News report that broke story of the Obama visit to “The View” — which the network posted online and e-mailed to the media in advance of the news release about the “View” booking — the news division made sure to mention that Romney had “previously disparaged the program as a ‘high risk’ media opportunity,” but said that he is willing to participate in October.

“No date has been publicly announced for a Romney visit to the program,” ABC News added.

The Obamas’ visit will mark their first joint appearance on a daytime talk show. On July 29, 2010, when President Obama appeared on the show, it marked the first time a sitting U.S. president had visited a daytime talk show.

His appearance ranks as the show’s most-watched broadcast ever: Nearly 7 million viewers tuned in.

Michelle Obama made her daytime television debut as a special guest co-host on the show, in June 2008. She’s appeared on “The View” three times to date; Tuesday’s appearance will mark the president’s fifth time on the show.

The first couple will tape their interview Monday in New York.

‘Hamlet,’ D.C.-style

These days, Hollywood can’t seem to get enough of TV programs set in Washington. Fox — the network of Simon Cowell, Nicki Minaj and “Family Guy” — is now developing one, based on Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.”

The new drama series is about a presidential hopeful who dies in a car wreck and whose son — described on the scoop-getting Web site Deadline as a “renegade JFK Jr. type” (whatever that means) — discovers that dad’s death was no accident, launching his own campaign to avenge the murder.

No word on whether an evil uncle marries mom and takes over dead dad’s campaign, or what Fox intends to do about Ophelia, though it’s probably safe to bet it won’t be pretty.

The pilot script is the work of Paul Redford, who spent five seasons on Aaron Sorkin’s fantasy White House drama “The West Wing” and, more recently, worked on the first season of Sorkin’s fantasy TV newsroom drama “The Newsroom.”

Redford also did time on ABC’s short-lived “Dirty Sexy Money.” That show was about an idealistic young lawyer who gets sucked into the lives of a nasty super-rich family when his dad, who had been the rich family’s lawyer, dies in a plane crash and junior discovers that it was no accident and sets about trying to figure out who committed dad’s murder.

Wait a minute!

For more columns by Lisa de Moraes, visit washingtonpost.com/tvcolumn.

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