ALTOONA, Pa – Fans of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama might swoon at his speeches. They might stand in awe of his judgment and echo his call for change. But they probably are not impressed by his bowling skills.
The Illinois senator, who is on a six-day bus tour of Pennsylvania to “introduce himself” to the state’s voters, dropped in on a bowling alley in Altoona late on Saturday and, after chatting with some people, put on a pair of bowling shoes to try his hand in a competition with Sen. Robert Casey, who has recently endorsed him.
The candidate’s first attempt was a gutterball.
“I’ve got to get at least something,” he said as he turned around to face a growing crowd.
His next attempt, another gutterball, showed little improvement.
“No worries,” he said. “I’m not done.”
In his defense, Obama pointed out that he hadn’t bowled for 30 years.
Fellow bowlers — even Republicans — lined up for pictures and autographs, surprised that a presidential candidate was hanging out at their local alley. Obama probably is hoping that Pennsylvania voters are like the pins: once you get to know them, they fall more easily.
Obama eventually got a spare but it came after Casey had scored a strike and long after Roxanne Hart, a regular who joined the senators on the lane, had put them both to shame.