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Friday, March 20, 2009


Yes you can count me among the disappointed upon hearing of Obama's remarks on Leno last night.

In case you missed all the hubub here's a short article on what was said.

Basically Obama was talking about how his bowling has improved with all the practice he's been able to do on the White House bowling lanes. He said he bowled a 129.

Leno joked that was very good.

Obama's response, "It's like the Special Olympics or something."

Huh? Really? He had to go there? So disappointing to hear that coming from the president on such a public forum.

Of course his "apology" states that he didn't intend to offend anyone and he was only making fun of himself.

If he was only making fun of himself then why did he compare his score with being like the Special Olympics? What was that supposed to mean? That was an insinuation of something and it wasn't meant to be flattering. He was trying to be funny, but it wasn't funny at all. I know people say things all the time they shouldn't say, but he really should have known better.

For more see the Special Olympics response.

So yes, I'm one of the many people who are disappointed in Obama's "off-hand joke" and want to say "shame on you" for even saying that at all.


Mom24 said...

It was a stupid thing to say. I believe that he did not intend to hurt, but of course he did hurt. I'm hoping that it can be used to educate a lot of people though on how much the words we choose to use can hurt, and how very careful we need to be. Maybe in the long run, this can do some greater good. Unfortunately, I think it is the kind of thing people would say all the time, and maybe after this, they'll think more about what they're really saying. {{{Hugs}}}

Molly C said...

agreed! I am super disappointed.

Did you see the man who has bowled three perfect games, and bowls in the special olympics. Obama should be LUCKY to bowl as well as the individuals in the special olympics

Lacey said...

I was really disapointed when I heard him say that. I like Obama and I like how he does public things like Leno, but he really messed that one up big time.

Heidi said...

What a dumb, hurtful statement. I totally agree with you.

AZ Chapman said...

I worte about this topic on my nlog today

Amy said...

Hi Michelle,

Our president needs to think before he speaks! Personally, and I don't want to offend anybody, but this speaks of his true character. I don't think this will be the last time he says something inappropriate.

And I wonder...has he ever watched the Special Olympics? The athletes are AMAZING!

Stephanie said...

Disgusted and disappointed too...

Kathleen Marie said...

Yep, that was indeed tacky but I am glad we do have a president who does strongly support The Special Olympics. I am sure he is kicking himself royally!

Mara said...

I am as well disappointed. I suggests her actually put his actions where his mouth is and volunteer at the SO- then he really would be embarrassed at his score !

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

I am among the disappointed about that remark as well.

We all say things we regret or things come out in a way that we would not have intended had we thought twice about it. I also think the President of the United States is held to a higher standard -- and that is as it should be.

What I look for in a human being is whether when he or she says or does something regrettable, does the person take responsibility for it, do a repair action (words and action), and assure me (us) that it won't happen again. I think he's done/will do that. This can be a teachable moment not only about awareness and the effect of speech, but also about repentance and redemption. Thanks for talking about this, Michelle. You bring such a big heart when you raise awareness about big issues.

Anonymous said...

I had a few things to say as well. I think it hit a sore spot I've been nursing for awhile!

Julie said...

I find it even more offensive for the fact that he grew up a minority. He group up in a race that has fought with ridicule and not having equality. Shame on him.

Carol N. said...

I've read about what happened, and it was not good - but I agree with Mom24 - maybe some good can come of it in the end. After all, if the President can admit it was wrong to say this, and apologize for it, then some awareness may be raised about it. Look at all the people in our blogging community who are sharing their thoughts already!

Here's hoping that his hurtful blunder will do less harm and more good at the end of the day.

Ellen said...

I was reeling, too, from that thoughtless remark. I love the Special Olympics bowler who has challenged him to a game!

Jeanette said...

I totally agree with you and posted on it myself. I hope that this makes a real impression on him and he thinks before he speaks in the future. It was VERY disheartening!

much more than a mom said...

Well said, Michelle. I actually heard about it late, but totally agree with "Cheri @ Blog This Mom!" I think it was a genuine faux pas, and he is - believe it or not - human. He made a mistake and seems truly sorry about it. Too bad he hurt so many feelings, though.

Junior said...

I was very disappointed by such a comment as well, we all slip but as a national figure he should think very carefully before speaking.
The other thing that really bothers me is seeing our president on a show like Jay Leno.

Overwhelmed! said...

That is indeed disappointing and he should apologize. The remark was very uncalled for!

Tina said...

Don't get me started :( Tasteless, stupid and NOT FUNNY.

I hear ya completely! ((((HUGS))))

Finding Normal said...

Ugh. I am so out of the loop these days, I hadn't heard about this yet, and I fell asleep about halfway thru his Leno interview.
That just makes me sick. How thoughtless and rude. And you know, I'm an Obama Mama. I would like to see him host some SO bowlers in the White House and show what a positive experience it is.

Chris said...

Disappointed here too. I think there is some confusion about who Obama was referring to. I think his comment was directed at Jay Leno's praise of his lower score. At Special Olympics, participation is praise more than the score. In reading more about it, I'm not sure that he was comparing himself to someone with disabilities. Either way though, the comment was insensitive and did mock a wonderful organization like the Special Olympics. He needs to think before he speaks.

heidi @ ggip said...

Absolutely! I wrote a similar post today and I also wrote the President an email to express my extreme concern.

Corey~living and loving said...

sad sad sad.

It really is just a sad symptom of our society. we are still raised to make jokes of those less fortunate. I don't think at all it was about those really in the special olympics, but more about our casual use of "retarded" and "special".

I'm not so upset by Obama, as I am sad that out society is still so cavalier about the use of such things to be funny.

Anonymous said...

What a stupid, stupid thing to say.
Why would they even cross his mind? Yes, he is human, but the rest of us are as well and the thought of saying something like this would never cross my mind. :(

I have to agree with Junior too- why was he on Leno anyway? Three months into his Presidency he has to be "humoring" the nation on late night TV?

Corey- I have four kids and it would be easier to hear any of them say a four letter word than call someone "retarded". And if you knew how I felt about them using four letter words, you would know that's pretty serious! :) I can't believe the number of kids who use the word just so casually.

Michelle, I watched the video of your daughter and she is just gorgeous!


Anonymous said...

I agree that was a hurtful thing to say. He should of thought before he spoke.
love ya,

Omaha Mama said...

Just catching up here. I had to comment. I was so bummed too when I heard the president's joke too. It's something I would totally expect to hear in the locker room at the school I work at, but not from our president. It was such a poor joke. So thoughtless.
The funny thing is, I take my student's bowling almost every month and their scores will triple Obama's! They can bowl! I guess it was a good chance to spread some awareness, that those kinds of jokes are not okay and that even the president can make mistakes and feel badly afterwards.