Obama’s Special Olympics comment


I don’t want to drag politics into this blog – but I do want to comment on what President Obama apparently said last night on Leno. For those of you who haven’t heard, read this bit from a USAToday blog:

As we reported last night, Obama and Leno were joking about the president’s bowling ability. Obama said he’s been practicing and recently had a score of 129. That’s not too high, and the president said that it was “like Special Olympics or something.”

As a quick disclaimer, I want to point out that this is not a politically motivated post – I don’t hate President Obama and that’s not why I chose to post this. And I don’t even want to bother writing about the obvious reasons why this comment was out of line. Instead, I want to pick at what in my experience seems like an inaccuracy: specifically, Obama’s generalization that Special Olympians are bad bowlers. (I’d submit that non-Special Olympians as a whole are no better.) A few years back, I volunteered for a Special Olympics bowling tournament in Milwaukee. I was volunteering at one lane in particular where a female athlete bowled a 259…yes, a 259. In her second game, she bowled another 200-something game. She was dialed in, had great form and she was flat-out talented. To this day, that is the highest score I’ve seen someone bowl live. But importantly, her quality scores weren’t the only high scores at the tournament (I’m not even sure she won.) There were a fair number of other athletes with scores over 200.

Again, not a political comment here, I guess I just wanted to share that I’ve had a life experience that made me doubly question Obama’s comment.

6 Responses to “Obama’s Special Olympics comment”

  1. Cindy V Says:

    Sometimes people say things without really thinking about it. My mom died of traumatic brain injury after being struck by a vehicle while crossing the street. You don’t know how many times people have said something like, “You never know about the future, you could be killed crossing the street today.” Then they realize what they’ve said and they feel bad about it. I’m not offended by it. Nor am I offended when people talk about idiots being “brain dead.” I still grieve for my mom. But I do think that some people are overly sensitive and just need to chill. Sometimes, no harm is intended.

  2. Joe Says:

    I can’t believe they put that on his teleprompter.

  3. Trav Says:

    My daughter, an 8 year old with autism, bowled in a fundraiser last weekend with one of her therapists and a friend from school. She beat both of them by 20+ pins in both games they bowled, including a 179 game. She has bowled maybe 3 or 4 times in her life. I see online today that the S.O.’s champion bowler has rolled 8 perfect games since 2005.

    I agree with Cindy in that it was more a poor choice of words and I had a laugh, at his expense, when I told my wife that I was going to write and ask him to meet us at Bowlero for a presidential ass-whipping from my own Special Olympian.

  4. Jax Says:

    He has hurt many families in America. He needs to say he is sorry in the public, not to an organization.

    In addition, someone who claims to have experienced prejudice and stereotypes throughout life, and has written about them in great detail, should be more sensitive and refined from life’s lessons.

    Furthermore, Obama claimed he was going to have the world think ‘highly’ of America again. Will this joke help?

    For someone who spoke of equality as a creed. Does this joke match that philosophy?

    For someone that said he would stand for all people. Does this stand up for those that participate in the special Olympics?

    The fact is Obama claimed a higher standard. To much is given, much is required.

    Obama has just showed us that ‘yes we can’ destroy what a campaign stands for with a single joke.

    During the campaign for the White House in 2008, the media criticized Palin for being ‘common,’ ‘not-polished,’ ‘not-compassionate’ and ‘not presidential.’ However, compare Sarah Palins attitude in this video created three weeks ago for the Special Olympics in Boise, Idaho.

    You decide the more ‘presidential’ among them. Watch: http://tinyurl.com/ccz6nj

  5. RaiulBaztepo Says:

    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

  6. Corey Says:

    Is this still a PACKERS Blog?

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