Obama and the Special Olympics

I’m late to this, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t run my mouth just a bit about President Obama’s Special Olympics gaffe on “The Tonight Show.”

Saying his low bowling scores were “like the Special Olympics or something” was obviously a stupid thing to do. But human beings–even polished world leaders–often say stupid things in extemporaneous settings. Of course, it was also a callous and juvenile thing to say, and that’s why it can’t be dismissed out of hand.

“Political correctness” is such a tiresome cliche that anything you say about it will inevitably be cliched. So I’ll leave it at this: it would please me greatly if all “retard” jokes in all their guises (and that’s essentially what Obama did–he made a “retard” joke) were removed from the culture. While realizing that it probably won’t, I’m hoping Obama’s unfortunate remark will help us to that end.

Mostly, the only thing I’m certain about is that you could add Obama’s and my bowling scores together, and we’d still lose to Kolan McConiughey.



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9 responses to “Obama and the Special Olympics

  1. FQ

    The whole episode was incredibly idiotic. Why is the POTUS on the Tonight Show? If the economic crisis is so dire, why is he yucking it up on TV. Clearly, the man thinks it is all about him. His arrogance and thoughtlessness speaks volumes to me. The real joke is him – in two months he has proven to be unserious and unbecoming the office.

  2. Concerned Republican

    Dayn, I know you are a southerner, but by this article I assume you are a democrat. I was just wondering if George W. Bush would have made the special olympics comment, would you have only called it “unfortunate”? Or…would you have attacked him like the rest of the media would have. I am truly asking, and not insinuating…the rest of the media(especially the left side) overlooked this and accepted the “apology” without much hoopla. 6 months ago, the President of the United States would have been crucified over this. Just an obsevation.

  3. Dayn,

    With you 100% on that last paragraph. As I suggested a few days ago here:

    “The real reason your Special Olympics joke was offensive, Barack, is that your bowling isn’t even in the same league as those guys’.”

    Great blog, Dayn, I’ll try and get here more often.

  4. daynperry


    Actually, I’m a moderate independent who tends to vote based on my Catholic faith. I find party politics to be banal and dishonest, and I have never and will never register as a member of any party.

    Anyhow, I’m not easily outraged, so when Bush was callous–for instance, in his “watch this drive” moment”–I would’ve had the same reaction: a dumb thing to say/do but not indicative of a heart of pure evil.

    I disagree with much of what Bush did during his two terms, but–unlike so many on the far left–he’s not a comic-book villain to me.

  5. Concerned Republican

    Like I said, just asking, not insinuating. Thanks for the reply. My thoughts on the parties and politics are very similar to yours. I call myself a republican just so I’m not mistakenly grouped with the far-left radicals. But…I wouldn’t want to be put in with the far right either….even though they seem to have less ill intentions, and aren’t quite the conspiracy theorists that the far left can be. My voting usually goes to who I think is best fit, and in my opinion, neither major party has put out a candidate remotely capable of leading this country since Reagan. Obama is not our answer, but unfortunately, I don’t believe McCain was either. Barry spends way too much time showing his face on tv for the wrong things….STUPID idea on going on Leno, really stupid.

  6. Mac Millings


    I disagree re Obama appearing on Leno.

    First, I’ll declare my politics (very broadly), as I think we shouldn’t hide these things when having a political debate. I’m mostly Liberal, but think it’s foolish to swallow all the tenets of one school of thought .Everything should be considered on its own merits, and so I’m fairly central on a number of things, undecided about a whole lot else, and, I dare say, even right of center on one or two issues.

    Anyway, back to Obama/Leno. In many ways, the President appears clearly to be modeling himself on FDR. I imagine (and I admit I’m speculating wildly) that the latter’s ‘fireside chats’, which were pretty informal for the age, might have been considered by some at the time to be TOO informal.

    They were enormously popular at the time, of course, and with hindsight, are generally judged to have been a huge success, politically speaking – not merely in terms of garnering FDR popularity and respect both then and now, but in actually helping the American people through the Great Depression.

    It seems to me that this kind of effect is what Obama is aiming for. It may or may not succeed, but I’d suggest that one could argue that the President is merely repositioning the office where it should be, relative to the people.

    I’m generalizing, but we’re getting a lot more informal as a population, and I think for the Presidency to remain statically aloof would be a mistake. I’m not saying he should go on Reality TV, merely that being ‘populist’ need not necessarily be a bad thing, as long as he doesn’t pander. If he went on Leno in jeans and a t-shirt, well, that would be too far. As it is, he’s just trying to get his message across to more people than those who just those who keep their eye on the news.

    But if he goes too far, you (we all) should call him on it. I don’t think he’s crossed the line yet.

  7. Concerned Republican

    Well, that’s what his publicist suggested they compare these “appearances” to, and that’s what the media is running with. Which I assume that means that somewhere in the news, you read the comparison. I disagree totally. Call a special conference for MTV, SPIKE, halftime of a major sporting event or just a late night timeslot if you want to reach a different audience. But a latenight comedy show is not the place to “reach” new audiences. Definitely not during the “dire” times our country is in.

  8. Mac Millings


    I haven’t been reading those reports, but am vaguely aware, just from his own speeches, that he seems to be trying to emulate FDR. I certainly don’t listen to his ‘publicist’, so don’t fret on that score! 🙂

    Perhaps you’d disagree, but I’d say that The Tonight Show is a rung or two above, say, MTV. That’s what I meant before about not crossing the line – MTV or Spike would be going too far.

    And if he just commissioned a late night spot, he’d only reach those who happen to go to bed late AND like to watch political speeches. Not a great demographic. But someone who would watch Leno anyway wouldn’t likely (I’d guess) turn off because Obama was on – if they would, he’s not reaching them no matter what he did (just as many – not me – probably turned off the TV as soon as they saw his predecessor’s face).

    So I still think it’s a reasonable strategy. But whether we can ever agree or not, I’m certainly enjoying our civilized conversation! Thanks!

  9. daynperry


    Would you happen to be a fellow Mississippi native?

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