Appearing on “The Tonight Show” Thursday, the president told host Jay Leno he’d been practicing at the White House’s bowling alley but wasn’t happy with his score of 129. Then he remarked: “It was like the Special Olympics or something.”
The audience laughed, but the White House quickly recognized the blunder. The Special Olympics, founded in 1968, is a global nonprofit organization serving 200 million individuals with intellectual disabilities.
On his way back to Washington on Air Force One, Obama called the chairman of the Special Olympics, Tim Shriver, to say he was sorry – even before the taped program aired late Thursday night.
“He expressed his disappointment and he apologized in a way that was very moving. He expressed that he did not intend to humiliate this population,” Shriver said Friday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Obama, Shriver said, wants to have some Special Olympic athletes visit the White House to bowl or play basketball.
I doubt that a quick apology will make this go away. For all the “religiosity” professed on the far right, there will actually be no FORGIVENESS or letting it drop. Machiavelli, not Jesus, will dictate the direction of this story among right wing media outlets. If they can hurt Obama with it, and bring his approval numbers down even a little tick, they will. The reason is that we are coming up on the big budget vote, and it will get ugly, and anything that can weaken Obama and soften him up before that vote, won’t be left on the table.