The White House has responded to Bill Maher's petition to have President Obama appear on his HBO show, promising to consider the request.
The petition has drawn more than 320,000 signatures. It easily passed the 100,000 benchmark in 30 days after which the White House is compelled to reply.
A White House response Saturday said Maher "has once again demonstrated he knows how to inspire and motivate his viewers!"
The memo from the White House says Maher's show, "Real Time," is popular with the staff. They admire his "passion for spreading the science on climate change, asking tough questions about money in politics, and trying to burst 'the bubble' where some of our politicians — and too many of our nation's critical political debates — exist."
A few weeks ago, Maher urged his audience to sign the petition to fulfill a birthday wish.
"Now that I'm 60," Maher said to his audience in January, "there is something I want you guys to help me with. And it's this: Before he leaves office, I want to get President Obama on this show."
Obama has sat down with an assortment of late-night, daytime and Internet talk show hosts, but he has yet to appear on Maher's show during his seven-year White House tenure. Maher has offered Obama constant support, and donated $1 million to a super PAC backing him, Priorities USA Action, in 2012.
"The President's communications team thinks strategically about scheduling presidential interviews, and we have made a concerted effort over the last couple of years to broaden the array of venues where the President appears — from talking to young people about healthcare on 'Between Two Ferns' and a post-State of the Union conversation with YouTube stars, to a CNN Town Hall on gun violence and an interview with Mic.com on the Iran deal," the White House said.
"Consistent with this approach, we'll keep in mind Bill's open invitation for a presidential appearance and give it the respectful consideration that Bill and his large audience deserve," the White House said. "Thanks again for raising your voices (we know Bill always raises his). We hope you'll continue to use the platform to call on the administration to address the policies and priorities you care about."
"P.S. Before we forget, happy belated 60th birthday, Bill! You haven't lost a step, and the gray hair makes you look, dare we say it, presidential. We hope our card didn't get lost in the mail," the memo concluded.