President O versus the Special O

March 24, 2009 at 8:55 am | Posted in disability, Politics | Leave a comment

Obama apologizes for Special Olympics comment on The Tonight Show

President Perfect makes a gaffe. This isn’t exactly news since it happened last Friday, and it doesn’t seem like anybody is terribly upset, but I wanted to post aboot it anyways since I like to keep an eye on disability news.

In an appearance on the The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Thursday night, United States President Barack Obama told host, Jay Leno, that he had bowled at the White House bowling alley and scored a 129.

“It was like the Special Olympics or something,” the President said.

The Special Olympics is an international organization that promotes self-confidence and social skills for people with intellectual disabilities. It organizes the Special Olympics World Games which is recognized by the International Olympic Committee and is similar to the Paralympic Games which are for people with physical disabilities.

Even before the taped show was aired, Barack Obama called the chairman of the Special Olympics to apologize. He phoned Timothy Shriver from Air Force One on the way back to Washington, D.C.. Tim Shriver is also the son of Eunice Kennedy Shriver who founded the Special Olympics.

“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 on Friday in an interview on Good Morning America.

“Words hurt, words do matter,” Shriver added. “People with special needs are great athletes and productive citizens.”

The last time I went bowling I won two games against five other people with the scores or 126 and 143. I doubt that either Obama or I would do very well against Kolan McConiughey, “a Special Olympics competitor who has bowled three perfect 300 games, tells TMZ that the Prez has to score a lot higher than 129 to beat him. Kolan says he bowls an average of 266”. McConiughey has challenged Obama to a game on the White House lane. I think Obama should go for it. It would be a great way to show that he respects the mentally disabled and it would bring a lot of attention to the Special Olympics.

The whole thing reminds me of that South Park episode where Cartman pretends to be mentally disabled so that he can win at the events. He ends up getting his fat ass handed to him all day long and almost gets the crap beat oot of him by Jimmy.

BTW, Sarah Palin, who criticized Obama’s remark, recently turned down nearly $40 million for kids with disabilities. I hate you Sarah Palin.

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