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Obama's Crack on the Special Olympics Falls Flat

Obama_leno President Barack Obama made history for a second time yesterday when he became the first sitting president to appear on a late night talk show, choosing the "Tonight Show." The most memorable past appearance was when Bill Clinton played the sax on "Late Night with Aresnio Hall" during the 1992 campaign.

The interview was light but the mega-cringe-inducing moment came when Jay Leno asked him about his infamously lacking bowling skills and Obama joked that his game was "like the Special Olympics or something." Um, dude?

I realize that people make mistakes. If perfection were required for the office of the presidency then no one would be eligible to serve. We are all guilty of at one time or another making a politically-incorrect faux-pas because we are human and walking on eggshells all the time around the peanut gallery is difficult.

However. What I don't get are the double-standards. During the campaign my favorite punching bag, John McCain, noted that Gov. Sarah Palin would "understand what it's like to have an autistic child." OHMYGAWD the keyboard pundits went batcrap bonkers saying that it was an insult, how dare he not know the difference between autism and Down Syndrome, which is what Palin's youngest son has. Except that McCain was referring to Palin's sister, Heather, who has an autistic child. Still, the demands that McCain apologize lit up Twitter and places like Kos and HuffPo.

Here we have a sitting president who makes fun of a group of people with a disability and it's explained away by others. Bear in mind - yes, I think his joke was tasteless and tacky but that's not as egregious as the double-standard and blatant hypocrisy I've seen demonstrated in our culture; people so damn eager to tear someone down that they'll comprise their consistency in the process.

The White House issued an apology and Obama spoke to Tim Shriver, head of the Special Olympics and a friend of a friend, about mending the riff his remark had made. Still, the offense of (some in) society's double-standard remains.

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huh, well maybe Barack Obama isn't Jesus after all. 'magine that. Good piece, Dana, thx.


Very well said, Dana!


What do you mean? He is getting ripped all over the place by hypocrits just like you. What a false premise. And, no said he thought he was Jesus but the GOP


"We are all guilty of at one time or another making a politically-incorrect faux-pas because we are human and walking on eggshells all the time around the peanut gallery is difficult."

Ok, we should forgive errors unless we have condemned someone in past, in which case we should indulge in fake outrage just to be consistent ? Those two ideas conflict... one could also claim that saying you forgive while still fanning opposition is maybe, just little, I don't know... hypocritical.
But, hey you got your wish people are still criticizing the

President's visit to the Tonight show but for different reasons here are clips of their critiques: http://www.newsy.com/


No matter how you slice it, this was a dumbass comment. Obama should know better!


I find it very interesting how defensive people get about Obama. Now don't get me wrong, I wasn't a Bush "fan" but he got made fun of for EVERY dumb comment that he made. Obama does it, people call him on it and it's like you just offended their mama.

I'm not defending or condemning anything. I just find it interesting.


Rosa: What I said isn't conflicting; you missed my point. The offense and reaction are discussed as two different entities. However, that you think they conflict sort of validates my entire point.

Goldcoast: Um no, just because you disagree doesn't make the premise invalid. Logic 101, dude. Also, I didn't say anything about Jesus.

Amy, Robyn, thanks.
I would LOVE if people didn't go straw man by way of their own prejudices against my perspective. It distracts from the topic.


I rarely ever visit this site any longer. I used to be a fan, but as other readers (many other readers) have pointed out on several occasions, every time someone expresses an opinion different from the contributer, either the readers of the site JUMP on them and criticize them or worse, the contributer shoots back a "screw you" as well. Unbelieveable. Too bad. I used to think it was just a fun site but the negativity is just too much.


Personialy I think anyone who was "offiended" by what he said, needs to get a freaking life! His comparison was accurate, Special Olympics people can't preform at the same level as non-handicap people. So basicly he was saying he has a stong handicap at bowling. Big fucking WUP! He "insulted" no one unless it's a "insult" to say handicap people are handicap. What the flying fuck is wrong with you idiots? Slow news day or just need to create some fake "outrage"? The McCane "incident" was bullshit also, get a clue, there are plenty of REAL things to be upsit over, this is NOT one of them, unless you are retarded. And I don't give two shits about being PC, PC is FAKE I'm real, and I will stand by my opinion here no matter who does or doesn't ike it!

ms martyr

Jen, I might (secretly) agree with you. Just bear in mind that there will be consequences for expressing your opinion in certain situations. True story - someone I worked with received discipline because she had asked people in the room to "Stop running around like a bunch of wild Indians." Another employee of Native American descent filed a complaint, which was found justified.

Kristin, I think the posts where there are dissenting opinions are the most thought provoking. I haven't seen a lot of hate.


During the campaign for the White House in 2008, the media criticized Palin for being ‘common,’ 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:


ms martyr

Sorry to be posting twice but I just remembered another example for Jen. One of my supervisors was teaching a class on diversity. He indicated how using the "N" word is never acceptable (he actually said the word) One of the attendees filed a complaint because the word had been used.


My opinion is if it's not insulting and is true, there shouldn't be a problem. The real problem is everyone is too "offiended" over way too little, yet NOT offiended over the big stuff. Case in point the last post about that BITCH Sarah Palin! How big a possiable HYPROCRITE can one person be? She dares go after Obama for this when it was her who called over half of Americans "not the 'real' America"! What's more offiencive, saying the handicap are handicap, or saying Americans are not Americans if they they aren't hate-mongering ultra-ignorant, bigoted, shallow, greedy, fundy, extremest racists (remember her "sambo" remark about Obama?) like her? Yea, which IS the most "Presidential"? Apparently the "unreal America" outnumbered her KKK/Joe the FAKE "plumber"-brand "America". I believe the election proved that out. If I was her I wouldn't ever show my face in public ever again. Then again she's too stupid to have any shame. I hope she runs her "Presidential" ass in the next election~talk about an EASY Obama victory there, lol!


The "Presidential" Sarah Palin http://www.grizzlybay.org/SarahPalinInfoPage.htm
Personialy I would vote for Adolf Hitler first, or even Bush again!

Katie Kat

Everybody makes mistakes. It's just that not all of us "common" folks have every single word we say scrutinized down to the air we used to utter it. Yes, what he said was a dumb comment that undoubtedly hurt people, but he apologized and I'm sure will try to be more careful in the future. End of story. Unless what someone says is blatantly being used to hurt or abuse someone, we ought to cut everyone a little slack.

Samantha moeller

OMG You have to be kidding me. Give the guy a break. He's human, f*cked up and made amends I don't think it's any reason for this "Here we have a sitting president who makes fun of a group of people with a disability...". Do you think Obama was intentionally "making fun". Geez chillax.


Jen. It's McCain. Not "McCane."

That pretty much sums up the entire sentiment of my response to you.

Kristin - you may need to edit your comment based on the responses that followed yours.


(For the record, I said that it was the double-standard that I found offensive. It's sad that some didn't even read far enough into the post to discern that and instead relied on political prejudices to motivate their response and name-called. This is Mamapop. We're classier than that.)

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