Winfrey doesn’t grill president in holiday show

Updated: 2009-12-14 14:39
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Winfrey doesn’t grill president in holiday show

If you tune in to Oprah Winfrey’s “Christmas at the White House” special Sunday night, you’ll get a look at the 27 trees and accompanying ornaments that decorate the White House for the holidays. What you won’t see is Winfrey grilling President Obama, although he does weigh in on his performance since becoming commander in chief.

“This was not about grilling the President, this was really about me wanting to come and experience Christmas at the White House,” Winfrey said. “So I wasn’t here to grill him, I was curious as to what he thought he had done, what kind of job he thought he had done and ask him for his grade. You’ll see what the grade is. The grade might surprise you.”

That’s not to say Winfrey didn’t pepper the Obamas with questions: she asked them both their favorite Christmas gifts they received as children.

The first lady answered, “It was a dollhouse and it was a metal dollhouse with plastic furniture ... I remember 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, but I loved that little dollhouse.”

As for the president? He said his first first “big kid 10-speed bike” was special, but also recalled the gift he received at age 10 from his rarely-seen father, Barack Obama Sr.

“The one time I met my father he was visiting during Christmas and he gave me a basketball,” the president, a giant fan of the sport, told Winfrey. “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.”

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