Barack Obama, pool shark??

May 12, 2008

rtr206t4.jpgCHARLESTON, W.Va. – We’ve seen him play basketball, he has been teased mercilessly about his dismal bowling skills and he even pretended to take part in a 400-meter hurdles race at a track meet last week. But pool?

Barack Obama loves it. And he decided to spend part of a 6-hour campaign stop in West Virginia — just one day before the primary election there — playing pool.

“The sign of a misspent youth,” Obama joked as he walked around and eyed the table in the smoky Schultzie’s Billiards in South Charleston.

“Obviously I wasn’t doing wholesome things like bowling,” Obama added to laughter, referring to a horrible showing in the bowling alley during a stop in Pennsylvania a few weeks ago.

The days of his youth came back quickly in the game against against Paul Scott, a local army veteran of the Iraq war. From the opening break, Obama sank several good shots — drawing some shouts of ‘whoa’ from the steadily growing crowd.

“Oh, it worked,” he said after he made one particularly tricky shot that sunk a ball into the opposite corner pocket. He also hammed it up for the crowd of photographers: contorting himself as he played with the idea of a behind-the-back shot.

The men played a gentleman’s game of pool, continuing on even though Obama sank the 8-ball early on. “That’s what you’re supposed to do with a senator,” he said to his opponent as they kept playing.

After Scott sank his final ball with one of Obama’s remaining, the presidential candidate shook his hand and patted him on the back.

“I didn’t embarrass myself,” Obama said, then went on to the business of campaigning during his final minutes in the state.

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage

Photo credit: Reuters/Jason Reed (Obama plays basketball during a campaign stop in Indiana on May 4) 


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

With Corporate Media favoring, Barack Obama, and alot of people are caught up in this Barack Obama
Magic show.. now people are saying if you don’t for Barack your a Racist,
Well I am not a Racist, and the united states is ready for a black president,
Just not Barack,,, if He wins the primary, I will not vote for Obama, I will vote McCain.
Just like so many of barack supporters saying if barack don’t win they will vote for McCain,
Problems is this I am 1 of thousands of blog sites, who feel the same way, Obama wins
We are all voting for McCaIN, after the election is over,, we will keep track of all the superdelegates in office,and when it time for their re-electon we will vote them out of Office, includeing
Bill Richardson, Nancy Pelosi, also Barbara Boxer, Diane Feinstein, so many other delegate. in each state or blogging page reached to 47 states. does not matter if Hilary came on after she loses and she said she is going to vote for Obama, does not matter anymore, Obama will not get our votes, its Hilary or McCain no more no less.

Posted by Jody | Report as abusive

Don’t be such a sore loser, just vote democratic in ’08. You don’t sound like much of a Dem, posting this defection stuff. I know you want your girl to win, but think of the country, not some hurt feelings.

Posted by Fred l | Report as abusive

Without doubt, sour grapes, Hillary thought long before she was definitely the dem candidate, and never expected a first timer to beat her….and well done barack, cause hillary would NOT do a great job..she is thinking of POWER..and nothing else.

Posted by Oscar | Report as abusive

Lets give Obama some credit. Hillary thought there was no doubt she would win. She thought this was a shoe-in victory. But she was wrong again and again.

Posted by Fenick J | Report as abusive

I think Obama is great. I am neither democrat or republican. I will not vote for Obama, because he is not ready. He is inexperienced. He is charasmatic, as Bill Clinton was, when he was running for office. Many voters will be blinded by his down to earth demeanor, and fun loving spirit. These are great attributes, but he still does not have the hard edge, intellect and seasoning that both John and Hillary have. Either one would be a better choice than Obama. When Obama gains some experience, I would readily give him my vote.

Posted by Eleanor | Report as abusive

Barack Obama..The pool shark??No..just a shark..We do not know who Obama really is. He has not been vetted and yet the media is making him into this magical, mysterious messiah with a glorious cultured romantic upbringing…WHY????He says the same old things..Just practiced rhetoric….HRC is the only person that can beat John McCain so I hope all of you Obamanites remember what you are doing when you vote for Obama. You are really placing a VOTE for the Republicans. Our Country is not up to 4 more years of Republican Rule…BRING OUR SOLDIERS HOME. HRC can and will…..

Posted by kaye c. | Report as abusive

It’s great to see our next president is interested in more than just the war in Iraq. Great to see he can get out and have a little fun once in a while. I bet Hillary doesn’t challenge him to a game of 8 ball anytime soon…

Posted by Wyatt | Report as abusive

Anyone who votes for McCain because Hillary loses the nomination is clearly not voting on the issues. Given the three of them, Hillary is very similar to Obama, and not similar at all to McCain. Socially, McCain is a right-wing Republican who is anti-abortion and anti-gay. Fiscally, he favors tax cuts for the wealthy. As commander-in-chief he’s for staying in Iraq. How could anyone who believes in what Hillary believes vote for McCain?

Posted by Ed | Report as abusive

I just read what Hillary spokesman Howard Wolfson said on NBC’s “Today Show.”. I ask exactly the same to him: democrates are asking themselves why Clinton with so much experience lost NC and won In. for so little?!!
“I think Democrats across the country tomorrow will be asking themselves why Senator Obama, with all of his money, with all of the great press, with voters being told that he is the inevitable nominee, why did Senator Obama lose West Virginia by 15 points or so?” Clinton

Posted by Nocas | Report as abusive

Who is behind the MSM silence on this?

DAVID AXELROD or better yet, KARL ROVE, waiting to unravel the Obama campaign at just the right moment?

It is no secret that O’Reilly and Limbaugh are ready. R_.shtml


Posted by DAVID | Report as abusive

So Jody, you say you are going to vote for McCain because Hilary is not in the race. Does that make sense? To vote for someone you don’t agree with on views just because you don’t like the other democrat candidate personally? But do what you want to do that’s your giving right. Just know that you are voting for a woman who cannot manage her own campaign. She has been financially broke at least twice in the last 6 months. How is she going to manage the economy when she cannot manage her own campaign trail? She is in debt and hasn’t started campaigning for the November elections yet. So yeah Jody…go ahead and vote for a financially broke economy or more of the same 8 lousy years…You’re really looking at the issues at hand; how smart.

Posted by Kim | Report as abusive

An Inconvenient Truth

I see an “Inconvenient Truth” which the DNC is forced to face is that Florida and Michigan will count in the fall general election; Florida and Michigan hold the DNC by the balls! Why? The fact is that Florida and Michigan are two (2) of nineteen (19) battle ground states with 44 of 196 electors for the upcoming General Election. In the fall general election theses two states may well hold the balance of power as to which party walks away from the election and which party [once again?] starts planning for the next election. Should the DNC continue to take a hard line and not seat the delegations from Florida and Michigan as elected by their voters, and then the DNC risk the real possibility of losing in those key states.

Most importantly these two states have 44 winner take-all-Electoral College Votes which represent 22.5% of the total of 196 contested electoral votes in the “battleground States.” If Florida and Michigan’s delegates are not certified by the DNC then those states votes will have been annulled in a most undemocratic process, by the party which claims to be “Democratic”. If my vote were not counted by the DNC then I would take my delegates and nominate our own candidate and place that person on the November ballot in my state, leaving the national candidate to fend for itself in the other 48 states that the DNC thinks should be counted.

The Democratic National Party is playing this issue out as one of discipline however, more and more what it is showing the voters is that the two major parties not only want to vet the candidates for the November election, but they want the public to have as few choices as possible as early as possible in that selection process. Why else are we seeing pressure for one candidate or another to drop out as early as possible, before most Americans can express their choice? By Supper Tuesday how many Republicans and Democrats were left on any given states ballot? How many were considered to be serious contender. Far from being one of choices our electoral system, is designed to limit the choices very early.

This system is far from a “Democracy”. In trying to determine a national order of voting the two major parties are vetting the vast majority of voter’s choices early in the process thus allowing for the maximum collection of CASH as early as possible in the process.
Both Parties seem to saying ‘to hell with the voters, we know what they need.’

This paternal attitude toward voters ignores the base of the DNC organization. What is likely to happen here is another case of George McGovern where the party picks a star instead of a winner; the choice of that core of the Democratic Party is represented on the map of the Electoral College. On November 5th 2008 we are likely to wake up and ask how the Republicans won. The answer will be that the DMC has forgotten the core of the party. To win in November the DNC not only retain its own core, but attract some of the Republican Core. Does this core care that Howard Dean wants them to vote after Iowa? No furthermore it’s none of the DNC business when Florida and Michigan vote.

This core is not worried about Race, we are worried about JOBS! I’ll Vote for a Black, a Woman, Asian or anyone who I fell will stabilize the economy. I’ll even vote for a Republican. What I won’t vote for is someone who lacks a plan or is going to give the nation’s future away in a bunch of feel good programs but fail to address the real problems which we face on Main Street.

Votes for Clinton dose not prove I am a Raciest any more than a vote for Obama proves I am a Sexist. More than this I resent the fact that Oboma implies that any white that does not vote for him is a racist. What would the result be if 96% of Whites were voting for Hillary? Then he would have a case that America is a Racist nation. The Silence is deafening out here. So let’s shut up about these side issues just vote. By the way let’s count all the votes not just the ones Howard Dean wants to count. The DNC, Republican, Green or any other party should not be concerned with when or how any state selects it delegates.

I have thoroughly reviewed the Constitution and in fact the Constitution states “ Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress” Article 2 section 1. The Constitution was further modified in by the 12th Amendment after the development of political parties; however at no point in this most fundamental law of our country, I can find any requirement as to who votes first.

Florida and Michigan’s votes will count in the fall so why not count them now? Unless the books are so cooked that Oboma can not win if they are counted why make such a big deal of this issue. Who set the dates for the Florida and Michigan primaries? The Republican led state government! As I see it the DNC has two choices. Either, they can seat Florida and Michigan’s delegates, as elected by their citizens, or face the possibility of not having a legitimate Democratic candidate on the ticket in those two key states and losing to the GOP.

Posted by John Settlemyer | Report as abusive

John Settlemyer:

You don’t like following the rules, do you?

It is apparent that you’re more concerned with having your candidate of choice win by any means necessary than for them to win fairly. That is reminiscent of the 2000 election when Bush STOLE the presidency from Al Gore. Would you be happy for that to happen again? Have you enjoyed the past 8 years of idiocy dominating this country?

Had Clinton run a fair & clean campaign & won the support of all these SDs that are flocking to Obama now, she would be the shoo-in. People like me would have never questioned her capability and would back her both with our votes & our finances. Countng MI & FL after all agreeing to the rules is tantamount to saying “mulligan.” I’ve got some news for you – this is reality. There are no do-overs in life. The rules were set & agreed upon, so stop trying to change them in the middle of the game.

Posted by Ratgurl | Report as abusive

ohh boo hoo.
I don’t want to hear I’m not racist.
Or I’m not feminist, or I’m not a womanizer, or I don’t think.

Check out the facts for a second. Everyone’s sooo compassionate towards Hillary Clinton. Remind me what happens when her pathological streak gets the best of her in the middle of a war? I can see Hillary now, having locked herself in the oval office crying and saying she doesn’t know what to do. Yes this is a hyperbole, but you can understand this. There are plenty of women who wouldn’t have this problem. Hillary just isn’t that woman.

Obama on the other hand, has sort of…gotten his ass on his shoulders for “beating the Shoe-in” as some of you put it. He’s the new guy, Let’s not forget he can get an old guy to run with him…sayyy John Edwards? or Kerry? or well anyone that might just back him enough to make it look like he knows what he’s talking about.

I don’t want another Kennedy with all the best intentions but dismissed early from office for all of the worst reasons. That’s where we’re at. Wartime, economic Trough, what’s to stop this from being 1963 allll over again, well plus nuclear warfare. The new generation of college students are a load of liberal humanitarians that have been wanting to fight global warming and hating the war since they were in the 5th grade. What happens when these kids get into the world. We will be to another decade of supreme change! Do we need another summer of ’69?

1960 here I come?

Posted by Sarah | Report as abusive