Gutter Politics: What Happens on Leno Stays on Leno

The instant controversy swirling around President Obama's Tonight Show

joke/gaffe about bowling as though he were in the Special Olympics is

another indicator of the hypersensitive times we live in -- not so much

because anyone from the Special Olympics even complained, but because,

according UPI and

other sources, members of the White House spin machine had swung into

action clarifying the President remarks two hours before they were

aired on the East Coast. Sort of like preparing and dressing a wound

before the bullet had actually struck.

But Obama's problems with bowling extend further back than last night

-- at least to the moment when he callously announced in an "off-hand"

remark that he might rip out the White House bowling lanes and

replace them with an indoor basketball court. Outrage quickly spread

across the Republic -- or at least, that part of it that still clung to

guns, religion and bowling.

Syndicated sports columnist Couch Slouch, aka Norman Chad, captured the mood of this part of America with an open letter to the president, which he began by recalling

then-candidate Obama's stiff bowling performance during one campaign

stop in blue-collar Pennsylvania (see video above):

"You didn't look like

you were about to roll a bowling ball," the Slouch wrote last month,

"you looked like you were about to change a baby's diapers. Your

release point was all wrong. You were playing the wrong board. You're

the leader of the free world -- bowl like it, buddy!"

But perhaps

there's a poltergeist dwelling in the White House's bowling alley that

is hostile to Obama and his guests. Earlier this month the president

had invited members of the Chicago Bulls basketball team to try their

bowling skills at the White House. From all reports they fared disastrously.

"I'm terrible," the L.A. Times quoted

Derrick Rose, before continuing its coverage:

"Joakim Noah called his effort 'not great, but it was just something

that I'll be able to tell my grandkids and tell my whole family. I

think I hit one pin, but my swagger was just unbelievable.'" 


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