Saturday, March 21, 2009

Obama scores a perfect ten

President Obama reached a height his vice president can only dream of. When The New Republic created the "Biden Gaffe-o-meter" they explained the 1 to 10 scoring:

When Barack Obama selected Joe Biden to be his running mate, he knew--just like he knew about the hair plugs and that we’d all be hearing about the quiet dignity of riding the Amtrak--that there’d be times when Biden would stray hopelessly off-message. But there’s off message, and then there’s off-message. So, we’ve created the Biden Gaffe-O-Meter to rate just how damaging a particular slip of the tongue is, with a 1 being not at all damaging, and a 10 meaning that he should remove himself from the ticket and take out a full page apology in The New York Times for insulting the handicapped children of the world and the ghost of Mahatma Gandhi. {emphasis added}

Get the gaffe meter out:

PRESIDENT Barack Obama has apologised to the chairman of the Special Olympics for a joke on a late night talk show in which the president compared his poor bowling skills to the performance of athletes with disabilities.

During a Thursday night appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Mr Obama, who was mocked during the election campaign for his performance in a Pennsylvania bowling alley, joked that he still scored poorly despite practising in the White House.

“It’s like – it was like Special Olympics, or something,” he said to laughter from the studio audience.

Special Olympics chairman Tim Shriver said yesterday that the president called him from Air Force One to apologise even before the show was broadcast.

“He expressed his disappointment and he apologised in a way that was very moving. He expressed that he did not intend to humiliate this population,” Mr Shriver told ABC’s Good Morning America.

“I think it’s important to see that words hurt and words do matter. And these words that in some respect can be seen as humiliating or a put down to people with special needs do cause pain and they do result in stereotypes.”

Using the New Republic scale, Obama and his teleprompter pinned the needle.