On Oct. 24, 2007, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., said that as president he would hold regular press conferences and "not just call on my four favorite reporters."
But the Democratic presidential nominee hasn't held a full press conference -- submitting himself to more than a handful of questions from his whole press corps -- in more than a month, since Sept. 24, 2008, in Clearwater, Fla.
The candidate often bemoans the media asking silly and superficial questions. The media isn't focused on the important issues facing the nation, he complains.
On Saturday in Nevada, Obama sat for an exclusive interview with Mario Lopez, the actor who played "A.C. Slater" on "Saved by the Bell," to air on the TV show "EXTRA."
According to the promotional materials from "EXTRA," "Asked about the tragic news that (actress Jennifer) Hudson's mother and brother were killed Friday in Chicago, Obama states, 'Oh it was heartbreaking, in fact I'm still trying to get a phone number to call her at this tragic time. She is somebody who has campaigned for me, she also lives in my community. So, we're really going to have to help her and pray for her and her family during this difficult time.'"
One of the problems his press corps has in gaining access to the frontrunner is the fact that Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., whose life used to be a roving press availability, has cordoned himself off from the media except in drips and drabs.
Earlier this year, many in the media thought McCain's reputation for access and openness would force Obama to follow suit; instead the opposite dynamic has played out as Obama's campaign justifies Obama's refusal to take questions by pointing to his far less accessible rival.