The first appearance by a sitting president on “The Tonight Show” may well end up being the last.
President Obama, in his taping with Jay Leno Thursday afternoon, attempted to yuk it up with the funnyman, and ended up insulting the disabled.
Towards the end of his approximately 40-minute appearance, the president talked about how he’s gotten better at bowling and has been practicing in the White House bowling alley.
He bowled a 129, the president said.
“That’s very good, Mr. President,” Leno said sarcastically.
It’s “like the Special Olympics or something,” the president said.
Wow. He really has a way with words, doesn’t he?
UPDATE: Is it possible he’s not really that great a communicator after all? Shocking — except to those of us who have been saying that for a while.
UPDATE x2: So how do you categorize Obama’s statement? Poor judgment? Thoughtlessness? Or TELLING IT LIKE IT IS?!?!
Don’t get me wrong; I wouldn’t really countenance the disabled flying into an outrage over this. But I do think — like the “putting lipstick on a pig” comment — that it shows Obama has a tin ear sometimes. And that he’s often a poor communicator, despite all we’ve heard to the contrary.
And maybe I’m alone in this, but I don’t think a tin ear is a good thing.
UPDATE x3: Commenter JD observes: “Just imagine if Bush had said that. Oh, the outrage!!!”
UPDATE x5: Dave Weigel:
Obama should clarify: he meant to say that Special Olympians were doing an awesome job, and that Geithner is retarded.