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Daniel Kurtzman

Barack Obama's Bowling Disaster

By April 2, 2008

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Barack Obama has run a largely gaffe-free campaign. Until he picked up a bowling ball. While attempting to woo blue collar voters in Pennsylvania, the Democratic frontrunner bowled a 37, while rolling several balls into the gutter.

His disastrous performance has earned him widespread ridicule. As MSNBC's Joe Scarborough put it, "He bowls like my four-and-a-half-year-old daughter."

The late-night comedians have been no less forgiving:

"His score was 37. Out of a possible 300, he bowled 37. Of course, being a Democrat, he automatically demanded a recount, so they had to go back." --Jay Leno

"I bowled a 37 when I was a baby. And I was drunk, by the way." --Jimmy Kimmel

"Afterwards, Obama told reporters, 'That's it, no more white guy sports for me. That's it.' He canceled his weekend at Hockey Camp." --Conan O'Brien

Jon Stewart imagines a scenario in which Barack Obama's poor bowling skills could endanger national security.

Watch video of Obama bowling, plus check out more embarrassing moments from the 2008 campaign trail.

Speaking of sports follies, President Bush was roundly booed this week when he threw out the first pitch at the Washington Nationals home opener. Booing aside, as Jay Leno noted, "It was nice to see Bush throwing out something other than the Constitution."

When Photo Ops Go Horribly Awry
Barack Obama Jokes
Barack Obama Cartoons

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)


April 5, 2008 at 4:39 pm
(1) lbelle says:

Talk about misinformation. Obama had a 37 in the 5th or 6th frame with a spare that had yet to be counted since he quit mid-game.That means he really had at least a 47+. So I think it’s quite unfair to opine about his score. What have YOU bowled in the 5th frame?

April 5, 2008 at 11:31 pm
(2) Steve says:

I think the embarrassing part was less about his score and more about his form. The video footage was pretty funny.

April 11, 2008 at 9:12 pm
(3) rene alvarado says:

I have only been bowling about a dozen times in my life, and the first time was with my sisters who also had her first time.

Mind you, I enjoyed sports in high school. My first bowling score kept by the bowlers in the next lane was 167 my sisters was 88. I thought that was bad, but was told not bad score. When I heard obama 37 or 47…gee whiz gimme a break. what happened to the athelete? LOL

August 7, 2008 at 12:56 pm
(4) matt says:

lbelle…. by my 4-5 frame im at about 110… how bout them apples

September 28, 2008 at 7:40 pm
(5) Matt's Lame says:

Wow Matt now maybe you can get a girlfriend

September 29, 2008 at 3:48 am
(6) Bowl says:

Yeah when I seen this on the news I about cried, oh well, I had worser days myself!

November 15, 2008 at 8:35 pm
(7) John Flaherty says:

… GREAT, he bowled a 37…. i want him to be a better President than the knuckkle head we have now,…. not a sandbagger bowler like Bush.

January 9, 2009 at 5:42 pm
(8) woednerd says:

I bowled a 16 one time.
My bowling instructor thought that it was impossible. Obama and I must bowl alike!

March 20, 2009 at 4:16 pm
(9) Pete says:

Well one thing he said was true. If you want to get ahead in Washington you get a dog. Now we know why he has two kids with one.

March 22, 2009 at 11:00 pm
(10) Steven Colbert says:

Obama signed the stimulus package at the same sight as the other democrat got his package stimulated.

April 24, 2009 at 6:04 pm
(11) Roy Biv says:

Obama’s low bowling score was not surprising — when it came down to prosecuting known war criminals Obama proved himself to be “all mouth and no (bowling) balls.”

August 20, 2011 at 6:55 pm
(12) Kelly says:

Obama quit mid-game because he had to go on vacation.

December 27, 2011 at 9:19 pm
(13) Skypilot1954 says:

Hey lighten up. They don’t have a lot of bowling alleys in Kenya.

January 2, 2012 at 9:24 pm
(14) Eugene says:

They should of let him have the bumper guards up.

February 14, 2012 at 10:39 pm
(15) MB says:

Even worse was his side comment that he felt like he had just participated in the Special Olympics.

October 27, 2012 at 9:20 pm
(16) sarah says:

it is bowling people. I don’t want a cool, or athletic president, I want a competent one. I don’t care if he bowls a perfect game. He needs to go.

October 27, 2012 at 9:31 pm
(17) Sandra Carson says:

Obama has mixed it up again: His bowl numbers are down and the deficit is up. Should be the other way around. Oh yeah, he didn’t do that!

October 27, 2012 at 9:34 pm
(18) stephen says:

Don’t pick on Obama for sucking at bowling , it’s just not his sport. Of course being President is not his cup of tea either , he sucks at that even worse. Lying on the other hand is his specialty , especially about Benghazi , he needs to be impeached.

October 27, 2012 at 9:34 pm
(19) rick critcher says:

5th frame….150 in route to a 300…why, who wants to know ?

October 27, 2012 at 9:49 pm
(20) Elbo24 says:

I’m 62 and I have a 157 average. My best game was a 267. Obama should hide his head in shame. I have seen little kids do better then he did.

October 27, 2012 at 9:49 pm
(21) Tonya says:

Uh, and what’s with the racist comment about ‘no more white guy sports’. He is such a rock star. Nothing presidential about him.

October 27, 2012 at 9:54 pm
(22) John says:

Guess he should have left the White House Bowling alley in place so he’d have some practice…

October 27, 2012 at 9:57 pm
(23) Steve says:

-Bowling score: 47 (given the remote possibility of him picking up that spare)

-Rasmussen Presidential Index- 47

…sounds about right.

Given time, he could actually score in negative numbers, so I say he gets no more time.

October 27, 2012 at 10:09 pm
(24) Roger in LA says:

YEAH, forget Benghazi, voter fraud, the economy, “fast & furious”, The President’s multiple power grabs, the negative campaigning, the broken promises, the debt………….. let’s talk about bowling………. idiots.

October 27, 2012 at 10:18 pm
(25) shirlee says:

Jeez…Put a pink too-too on him with a pair of little pink ballerina shoes on his tootsies and he’d make a pretty good looking fairy.

October 27, 2012 at 10:33 pm
(26) CaseyA says:

He’s much better at bowling than his day job.

October 27, 2012 at 10:41 pm
(27) Mike says:

Honest who cares how he bowls! The problem is he runs the country about as well as he bowls, except he can’t lie about his bowling score like he lies about everything else!

October 27, 2012 at 10:56 pm
(28) drew says:

really ibella??? 37 or 47 does it really matter??

October 27, 2012 at 11:10 pm
(29) Jim says:

The first time I went bowling in my life, I was about 8 years old. My score was in the 80s.

October 28, 2012 at 12:01 am
(30) garth says:

Hey, at least he knocked down more pins than soldiers he sent to save our ambassador’s life. Guess you could say he rolled all gutter balls on that one

October 28, 2012 at 12:31 am
(31) tunja says:

What sport is a Black mans sport that you play Mr. President.? To me sports don’t have a color just a set of rules to be followed. As you pretty much don’t believe in following the rule of law we have in this country, I can see why you suck so badly at sports. I’ve never seen such a wuss when it came to throwing a baseball.
And if your were trying to infer that the sport you like to play with the pros is a black mans sport, better think that through. It was invented by a white man a Dr. James Naismith I believe. And it itself may have been inspired by a game played by the Mayan Indians, so it’s not a black mans game. It’s an American game

October 28, 2012 at 12:33 am
(32) B. Ware says:

It was so bad he quit? He stinks at president too? If he’s gonna quit that what his stinks at, then he should quit all that he stinks at!

October 28, 2012 at 7:18 am
(33) proudnot2bliberal says:

Obama immediately blamed his bad bowling game on Pres Bush & the republicans.

Now I remember this “great super intelligent” so called leader making comments on a late night TV show how he bowled like he was a special Olympian…. sorry barack a special Olympian would have done better on the economy & the middle east

October 28, 2012 at 10:04 am
(34) Joe says:

Why doesn’t the media, and rightly so, make a big deal out of Obama’s racist remark about ‘white guy sports’. I bowled in several leagues with African-American team members and never thought of it as that!

November 14, 2012 at 5:17 pm
(35) Sheila says:

To the people complaining about the president making a “racist” remark, he is not the one that said “no more white guy sports”. It was a quote from Conan O’Brien. Comprehension is important!!! Stay in school!

November 14, 2012 at 5:19 pm
(36) Sheila says:

One other thing, the article is from April 2008.

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