Friday, March 20, 2009

Obama, Bowling, and the Special Olympics

Take away Barack Obama's teleprompter and odds are he'll put his foot in his mouth.

He did exactly that when chatting with Jay Leno during that ever so historic appearance on the Tonight Show.

Here's the very, very uncool exchange:

MR. LENO: Now, are they going to put a basketball –- I imagine the bowling alley has been just burned and closed down.

MR. OBAMA: No, no. I have been practicing all –- (laughter.)

MR. LENO: Really? Really?

MR. OBAMA: I bowled a 129. (Laughter and applause.)

MR. LENO: No, that's very good. Yes. That's very good, Mr. President.

MR. OBAMA: It's like -- it was like Special Olympics, or something. (Laughter.)

MR. LENO: No, that's very good.

MR. OBAMA: No, listen, I'm making progress on the bowling, yes.

Wouldn't you think by now Obama would be better at speaking off-the-cuff?

How could he possibly come up with that Special Olympics remark?

Not cool at all.

From FOX News:

President Obama sat down with Jay Leno on Thursday for a late-night TV interview that spanned a range of topics -- from the economic crisis to the presidential dog -- and even, at one point, featured the president joking that his bowling ability was suitable for the Special Olympics.

The bowling comment was a reminder of his poor performance on the lanes last year during one of his campaign stops. Obama bragged to "The Tonight Show" that he recently bowled 129 on the White House alley.

...On Thursday evening, Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton said the president's "offhand" remarks were meant to make fun "of his own bowling and in no way intended to disparage the Special Olympics."

"He thinks that the Special Olympics are a wonderful program that gives an opportunity to shine to people with disabilities from around the world," said Burton.

Yes, we know that Obama is not a good bowler. That's the point.

Obama was attempting to use self-deprecating humor, but in the process, he insulted the accomplishments of the participants in the Special Olympics.

Bill Burton's explanation doesn't help matters. He says that Obama's "offhand" remarks meant to make fun "of his own bowling and in no way intended to disparage the Special Olympics."

Then why did he say his low scoring, poor bowling performance was "like Special Olympics, or something"?

Of course that was a disparaging remark.

There's absolutely no other way to interpret it. It was a callous, insensitive thing to say. Sometimes, there's a very cruel edge to Obama's sense of humor.

Burton says that Obama didn't mean to disparage the Special Olympians, but he most certainly did. Obama owes them an apology.

This isn't the first time Obama's humor has backfired when he's been without his teleprompter and the true man, the spontaneous Obama, is revealed.

On November 7, 2008, then president-elect Obama screwed up during his first news conference by making what was later referred to as a "careless joke" at Nancy Reagan's expense. At the time, Obama spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter called that an "offhanded remark." Apparently, that's how Obama jokes gone bad are characterized.

Obama did apologize to Mrs. Reagan. I think he would be wise to do the same to the participants in the Special Olympics. Obama should take responsibility for what he said.

Surely Burton must be aware that what he calls "offhand" remarks are no less hurtful and offensive than ones that scroll down a teleprompter.


Anonymous said...

The man (our teleprompter President) is an uncouth, uneducated Chicago machine thug.

He's going to get called on the carpet by his puppetmaster for this one.

Obama voters, what a bunch of suckers.

I've noticed that the MSM is not playing the recording of the screw up. This would have been the talk of the MSM for a month if a Republican had said such a terrible, mean-spirited thing.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Sarah Palin should give Obama a call and explain this part of the world to him. He's obviously clueless.

Anonymous said...

Excuse the language...but what an asshole.

Anonymous said...

"There's absolutely no other way to interpret it."

Well, there are tons of ways to interpret it, it's just that many people are so closed minded that they only want to understand what supports their arguments and ideologies.

Mary said...

That's pathetic, "anonymous, 10:51 AM, March 20, 2009."

It was a horrible thing for Obama to say. That's why Obama is spinning wildly, trying to do damage control.

From AP:

He quickly apologized and told the Special Olympics chairman he wants to have some of its athletes visit the White House to bowl or play basketball.

Obama and his team know the comment was inexcusable.

Anonymous said...

From my perspective, it was a gaffe and it shows Obama to be prone to such things without major prepping or teleprompting. I could even overlook it as I do not think he meant it in any mean spirited sort of way.

However, I am thoroughly enjoying this because the hypocrisy of the leftards and their MSM. The vitriol that was spilled over Bush and Palin was truly despicable and unwarranted, at least for Palin. The leftards are reaping what they have sown. May it be a good harvest! LOL!

Anonymous said...

I sent the Special Olympics a contribution today.

dmarks said...

It was very mean spirited, and might show what Obama is like when the teleprompter is off. He did not apologize during the interview, did he? If not, he waited way too long.

Mary said...

No, Obama didn't apologize during the interview. He laughed and so did Leno and so did some in the audience.

It was a horrible thing for Obama to say. I think it's these unscripted moments that are so revealing.

What sort of person would use Special Olympics participants as a punch line?

Not a compassionate, caring person.

Obama's remark was cruel beyond words, certainly not befitting the president of the United States.