Obama’s Gaffe

By Christina A. Samuels — March 20, 2009 1 min read
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I’m embarrassed to say I just didn’t hear this when I was watching the president on Jay Leno last night, possibly because I was reading and listening at the same time. The dangers of multitasking.

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 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, is a global, nonprofit organization serving 200 million individuals with intellectual disabilities.

The Associated Press article goes on to say that the president immediately recognized the insensitivity of his remarks, and called Timothy Shriver, the chairman of the Special Olympics, to apologize.

I did a quick scan of the Twitterverse (by the way, you can follow me on Twitter, through @casamuels) and checked out the comments on Patricia Bauer’s Disabilty Blog; she has also collected some commentary on the issue.

The general feeling seems to be that of disappointment, which I share. There are also some jabs that if George Bush had made similar comments, there’d be more outrage. What do you think?

A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.