>by Don White
If President Obama hoped to receive a “bounce” in popularity by kibbitsing with Jay Leno the other night, well it failed.
Barak Obama isn’t the sharpest pencil in the box, is he? And all along someone said he had an IQ of 140? What’d he do, leave it behind when he told about rolling a bowling ball in the gutter of the White House Bowling alley and only scoring 129?
“It’s like — it was like Special Olympics or something,” the president said, prompting laughter from the audience. He used these special kids to garner favor with Leno’s audience, at the expense of some very upset parents and children across the nation and apologizing won’t cut it.
This guy Obama just can’t think on his feet, we’ve seen that when he tries to speak and is without a tel-prompter. Now it’s coming back to bite him bad.
It may have seemed funny at the time, but parents and children who are involved with Special Olympic children are angry and very vocal about it. Read what they said here:
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While appearing on “The Tonight Show” to tout his economic plan, Obama — who famously rolled a gutter ball while trying to woo primary voters last year — told Leno that he had been practicing in the White House bowling alley and recently scored an unimpressive 129.
“It’s like — it was like Special Olympics or something,” the president said, prompting laughter from the audience.
Obama called Special Olympics Chairman Timothy Shriver after the show to apologize and to express his admiration for the organization. Shriver accepted the apology and later said he hoped the gaffe would serve as an opportunity to knock down myths about people with disabilities.
His sister, California First Lady Maria Shriver, issued a statement expressing disappointment with the president’s comments, as well as the laughter that followed it:
“While I am confident that President Obama never intended to offend anyone, the response that his comments have caused, coupled with the reaction of a prime-time audience, demonstrate the need to continue to educate the non-disabled community on the issues that confront those with a developmental disability.”
Obama’s comment also hit close to home for David Axelrod, the president’s top political guru and a senior White House advisor.
Axelrod’s daughter, Lauren, is a longtime Special Olympian who has competed in swimming and track and field events. His wife, Susan, was part of a delegation led last month by Vice President Joe Biden to the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Boise, Idaho.
“I think he was trying to make a comment about himself and his own skills, more than putting anyone else down,” Susan Axelrod said. “We have been with him with Lauren, and he is nothing but totally respectful.” Still, she called it an unfortunate comment.
“Knowing the president the way I do, I would assume that he is horrified that he said this, and I think he will make every attempt to make something positive out of it,” she said.
A score of 129 would keep Obama off the medal stand at several Special Olympic’s events because they have gone as high as 140 to 150. So there, you big mouth, Obama!
I believe Vice President Biden may be worrying about Obama about now, wondering if he should take the president’s place at important ceremonies from now on, now that we know the president has a propensity for gaffes.
Or is it contagous? Biden is the one who always says the wrong things. Has the president caught the communicable Biden disease?
This gaffe is sure to be the talking point of scores of blogs and news-commentary TV shows, especially at Hannity and Glenn Beck.
Here’s what Obama may be inclined to say in an effort to erase the memory of this bad “dream” come true, a last ditch effort of self-effacement. But believe me, nothing he can say now will help. Obama’s problem is he talks too much, much like Biden. Both speak their minds, but forget the mike is on. The following is going to be said by Obama at one time or another, but definitely is not the excuse to make because he will find himself digging a deeper hole, one he cannot climb out of no matter how hard he tries:
“I’m so sorry to everyone I said that. What was I thinking (fact is he wasn’t thinking)? My bowling’s so bad I couldn’t even beat the American Special Olympics champion.”
I can hear the shovels clanking against one another. Mark my words, in a moment of fatigue or weakness, this president will go overboard to bury himself and when he has to apologize he says exactly the wrong thing and I predict he will say the above words. He continues to make these gaffes — like giving Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown 25 DVDs when Brown isn’t known as a movie buff; to make things worse, Brown presented Obama with a piece of historical memorabilia of unique importance, a pen holder fashioned from the oak timber of HMS Gannet, a Navy vessel that served on anti-slavery missions off Africa.
The second part of Obama’s day of gaffes was that he didn’t recognize the significance and magnitude of the unique British-US long term relationship or of a meeting in Washington of the leaders of these two great nations. He could have done it by treating Brown to the customary full press conference where both men stand importantly at podiums before cameras and answer questions, a scene of power and unity that the entire world would have seen. Remember how President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair used to do it? It just looked regal, and both men got a personal and a political bounce off each other from it. But we must remember, in those dour days Obama was feigning austerity and gloom — yeah, sure. So much austerity that he was spending like it was going out of style and eating high on the public while throwing those extravagant parties at the White House?
It’s all over the papers and on TV and millions of blogs: A 129 score would keep the president off the medal stand at several Special Olympic bowling events, according to recent results. How dare Obama denigrate these wonderful children and rob them of the memory of their championships — or even of their participation in an important competition, which in their case takes super human effort, something other athletes cannot even begin to understand.