A free pass for Obama?
This time it was not for something that we had done, but rather for something we had not done.
He pointed out that from time to time he had said and done some outrageous things, and was promptly – and correctly – taken to task for them.
But he noticed that our new president for the most part got a pass from us for his gaffe on the Leno show when he made a crack about his bowling skills and referred to them as being like Special Olympics.
It was one of those comments that, if you speak in public at all, or cover those who do, makes you wince as soon as you hear it. Do I think Obama meant to denigrate Special Olympics? Of course not. That doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be called on the carpet for it, either.
Specifically, I was left with this thought. If President George Bush had made the same comment, what do you think the reaction would have been? Exactly.
It proves that no one is immune to saying dumb things in public. I sometimes manage to write dumb things that get widespread dissemination. We say and do things in print and online every day that raise more than a few eyebrows.
But in this instance I think my critic had a legitimate point. It wasn’t that Obama meant to say something harmful about the Special Olympics. In this instance I really do think it was an innocent slip of the tongue, something we’re all susceptible to do, although I will go on record saying that he seems to be making a habit of treading on dangerous ground when he speaks off the cuff.
It was more the reaction to the statement – or specifically the lack of reaction – that had gotten under this politician’s skin.
In this case I think he was right. I’m thinking if the shoe had been on the other foot, if President Bush had uttered such a comment, we would have pounced on it and been all over him.
I had actually meant to offer President Obama a “dart” in our Saturday Darts & Laurels column, but it slipped my mind.
I’ll give him one now. It was a dumb thing to say. I don’t think he mean anything by it; it was politically incorrect at worse.
And one final thing, which I pointed out to my critic as well. I noticed that Obama actually called the president of Special Olympics before the show aired to apologize for his comment.
But even smart guys sometimes say dumb things.