Three strikes for Obama — at the bowling alley

August 3, 2009

President Barack Obama may be struggling to boost a weak economy and push through healthcare reform, but he is making undisputed progress in one area — he’s raised his bowling score from an embarrassing 37 — out of a possible 300 — to a 144.

The athletic U.S. 47-year-old, known as an enthusiastic basketball player , scored one of his presidential race’s few missteps last year during a campaign stop in Pennsylvania when he tried bowling and posted the 37, a result far below the respectable range. 

So it seemed surprising when his press secretary, Robert Gibbs, said Obama, who turns 48 on OBAMA/Tuesday, had included some bowling in his birthday celebrations with friends during the weekend at the Camp David presidential retreat.

It was even more surprising when Gibbs insisted that Obama had rolled an eminently respectable 144, almost quadrupling his score during the ill-fated campaign stop.  “I watched the last four throws:  three strikes and a nine. I’m just saying,” Gibbs told an incredulous White House press corps. “I told the president, ‘Look if you’d have done this in Pennsylvania, my life would have been a little easier last spring.’”

That awkward performance at a sport strongly identified with the U.S. working class was mocked by Obama’s critics as a sign that the candidate, a former law professor and graduate of two of the country’s most elite universities, could not relate to regular Americans.

Obama has said since that he has been practicing his bowling. And Gibbs insisted the higher score was accurate. “The bowling happened right in front of me,” he said.

Photo credit: Reuters/Jim Young

2 comments

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I wonder if he would say that he bites his toe nails, the media would be “Cool lets all try it”.

lets talk about it over a beer right?

Posted by Ian | Report as abusive

Ian-God forbid that a president admits to making a mistake and has the parties who were directly involved over to the white house. Maybe Obama should have made his mistake, then not acknowledge it but tout it with a banner that says “Mission Accomplished”

Posted by mike | Report as abusive

[...] before. Who could forget his embarassing bowling score of 37 in seven frames (an aberration, we’re told)? Then there was the tale, triumphantly recounted by Robert Gibbs, of how the President schooled [...]