Barack Obama

Is The President an Athlete? And is it Racist to Point Out That He Spends a Lot of Time Showing Off That He's an Athlete, Especially When Unemployment is Really, Really High?


So the latest faux-flap in the post-racial age many of us hoped that the election of Barack Obama would usher in is, naturally, about race.

Guest-hosting on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Norah O'Donnell suggested to the assembled throng of rag-tag plagiarists and John Demjanjuk enthusiasts that former Speaker Newt Gingrich's jab at the president was coded racism. Speaking at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference (which, it should be pointed out, sure sounds like code for something), Gingrich pronounced that

Shooting three-point shots may be clever, but it doesn't put anybody back to work….What we need is a President, not an athlete. We need somebody who actually focuses on getting people back to work.

Now Gingrich is nobody's idea of an athlete and while it might be easy to write this off as water-boy envy at its most obvious, it's also a great line, especially given Obama's annoyingly public displays of jump shots (see above, which comes from the White House's official site!). O'Donnell insisted that the proper reading of Gingrich's comment was that the Georgia Peach was channeling Jimmy the Greek (not a stereotype!) and dredging up racist stereotypes of African Americans as born to play basketball.

"I'm not sure what he means by this particular soundbite and I think it's open to some criticism because it suggests that the President is an athlete and some people may suggest, you  know, because all black people are good athletes. I mean that's what it sort of sounds like to me… Well what's this suggestion about him playing basketball? That he's not doing his job?"

This is thin gruel and the other guests on Morning Joe said so. You'd think that a political reporter with any short-term memory would remember, at the very least, the fairly constant attacks on George W. Bush as golfing while Rome burned and/or taking naps and/or working a 30 hour week and being on vacation all the time. And if not that, then maybe attacks on Bill Clinton for golfing too much (including at whites- and men-only clubs), or of George H.W. Bush golfing all the time, or of Ronald Reagan sleeping too much and/or chopping wood, or of Jimmy Carter falling down while jogging during a fun run. The tradition of accusing the president of not working hard enough, except at his golf game, is an old and storied motif that dates back at least to Eisenhower. And, we should point out, Obama does get photographed frequently while playing golf as well as b-ball.

The question for O'Donnell? Where do you go to hide when Mike Barnicle, of all textual poachers, gets off a jerk-store-level quip at your expense? Sed Barnicle:

You can easily disprove that President Obama is an athlete by showing his first pitch…You can show that clip. He is not an athlete.

Transcripts, clips, and more at Media Research Center site.

Last week, Matt Welch posted this clip and ran through the various ways in which Obama revealed himself to be something less than an athlete.


NEXT: Will California Legalize Marijuana? Q&A With Assemblyman Tom Ammanio, Who Wants to do Just That.

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  1. It’s a good thing that electing Obama put an end to the odious national discourse on race like this.

    1. You forgot the tags!

    2. Sorry Marc, meant to say you’d forgotten the sarcasm tags!

  2. Jimmy Carter falling down while…
    Actually it was Gerald Ford that was know for not being able to keep his feet under him. Which is ironic as he actually was an athlete. He played football for UofM on championship teams.

    1. He didn’t just play, he was a two way all American. Him and Eisenhower are probably the two best athletes to serve as President. Goes to show, public image does not always match reality.

      1. My understanding is that once athletes are over the hill they start picking up speed as they roll down the other side.

        I’m pretty sure Gerry missed a few seasons between the last time he snapped the ball and when he was sworn into office.

        1. I don’t know. I have an uncle who was an all conference college football player back in the late 50s. He is still a big guy with bad knees, but when he wants to he moves with an amazing grace and speed even in his 60s. I always kind of thought, once you had that kind of ability, you never totally lost it and became like us mortals.

          1. The canard that Gerald Ford was clumsy should be recognized for what it was, and is to this day. The LameStream Media ridiculing a Republican with slanderous lies whenever they can. Ford bumped his head ONCE while exiting Air Force One. This was trumpeted in the Media, and immortalized by the barely talented Chevy Chase on his one and only season of Saturday Night Live. In truth, for most of his adult life, Ford was and remained a fairly graceful ex-football player, but the media found it useful to use this single incident to take a cheap-shot at a Republican. Shocking, I know. Good thing they don’t do that anymore….*SNORT*

            1. Barely talented is right, and Chase is still doing that “clumsy Ford” routine:


              It was stale 30 years ago. It’s painfully unfunny now.

            2. … and Chase has paid for it with decades of pain and addiction to pain relievers.

              I know it’s not nice to wish ill on anyone, but I wonder how karma will have its way with Tina Fey for her Palin tropes. Oh, never mind… “Date Night” may be punishment enough.

            3. It wasn’t so mucha LSM making up a story as the fact that it was a story when Ford stumbled because he was a great athlete, a running back even. Given the temperament of the nation (**cough** Nixon**cough**) at the time it was even a good idea for the press to run with the story, it put the nation at ease to have a president making headlines for a easy to understand and non-serious foible.

              But it was only funny and newsworthy because Ford was, as you phrased it, a graceful ex-football player. It has only become the “truth” that Ford was clumsy in the past 15 years or so as those who never saw Ford have become so numerous.

              1. **cough** Nixon**cough**

                Compared to Obama Nixon is one of the most honest presidents. If a Republican were doing what Obama is doing impeachment would already be happening and the Pravda media would be on a feeding frenzy.

              2. I come to this comment late, but nevertheless…

                I suspect that Max is around 30, became politically aware around 15 and views history through the filter of those 15 years (a political lifetime for him). As someone who lived through the whole thing let me confirm that, yes indeed, Gerry Ford was portrayed as a clumsy boob from the moment he bumped his head. This is not a late slander amongst those who never saw Ford in the flesh but just the same old LSM (I like this acronym) and the same old tactics.

            4. No, there was more than one clumsy incident for Gerald Ford when the press was around. He bumped his head, he slipped on steps leaving an airplane (and later when ascending to another), he hit golf balls into galleries, his swim trunks slipped off when diving into his pool. It was a series of incidents.

      2. As an adult, even after the presidency, President Ford remained an avid snow skier. He had a house in Vail where he stayed for extended periods during the winter.

  3. The disgraceful mountebank Jimmy Carter did indeed become ashen and rubbery during a 10K. He was tended to by the same crack team that saved him from a savage attack by an aquatic rabbit.

  4. How about a little Michelle on [FITB] F-L-O-T-U-S action?

    1. FITB?
      Future Income Tax Bracket?
      Or F?d?ration Internationale de Tchoukball?

  5. I’d bet Bush was a better athlete than Obama at his age.

    Ford had a fucked up knee from football. That’s why he fell over.

  6. Norah O’Donnell is a lovely lightweight, cable-news eye candy. Nobody has ever accused her of having an original thought. In this case she stupidly parroted the left’s racist theme and got caught. The astonishing thing is that her buddies called her out on live TV. Maybe it’s a turning point, at least among the not-entirely-insane middle left.

    1. She is not even that great of eye candy. She is weather channel cute at best.

      1. She’s no me!

      2. “weather channel cute”! Don’t know if that phrasing is original to you John, but it made me laugh.

        1. It is my phrase. And actually, the weather channel has improved the quality of its newsbabes lately. Stephanie Abrams who is on in the morning has a hell of nice rack.

          1. They take turns getting pregnant, too. That’s teamwork, not to mention constant lactation on the set.

          2. Dude, you need to get out more if Abrams does it for you. Although, to be fair, if the sound was broken on my TV I might not hate her as much.
            But damn, she sure does think highly of herself.

            1. “Rack”? Would you say she had a “balcony you could do Shakespere from!”?

              1. aw, creepies, mudhead!

  7. Maybe it’s a turning point, at least among the not-entirely-insane middle left.

    And those twenty-seven people will SAVE AMERICA.

  8. Who is the chick on the workout ball? I’d totally get her drunk and then take her into a bathroom and force myself on her. If you know what I mean.

    1. … go on.

    2. And you’d totally get away with it. Just don’t violate the league’s substance abuse policy, or you’ll be hounded out of Pittsburgh.

      1. We are quite happy to wallow in our own hypocrisies, thank you very much.

      2. Or carry a gun into a nightclub in New York. That will get you two years. But violate a drunk college student; hey boys will be boys.

        1. She was asking for it.

  9. eye candy on a cable news show – albeit a third rate news show…this dim wit wannabe just proved she belongs in the single A farm system with the rest of the sheep.. but I give her kudos for tryin’!

    1. Watch the intrepid Norah ambush a teenage Sarah Palin groupie at a book-signing last year.…..r_embedded

  10. This is all so stupid. A president, like every other sane person in the world, is going to take time away from his job to spend with family, relax and yes, entertain himself.

    The Obama worshippers reflexive accustaions of racism in response to criticism of the guy is pathetic and at least as harmful to race relations in the country as the KKK is.

    Now to the important stuff, Obama as an athlete. He’s probably a better roundballer and golfer* than I am. I’d get picked far ahead of him in a pickup baseball game and I would bet my life earnings against him bowling. If he’s the running back on the other team, I’m bribing the coach to play linebacker.

    * Golf is a stupid sport. In soccer you kick the ball somebody kicks it back, in baseball you hit the ball and somebody throws it back, in bowling you roll the ball and the machine sends it back. In golf you drivbe the ball and chase after it.

    1. The guy clearly has a right to do what he wants for leisure. If he played a pickup basketball game at the Whitehouse every Tuesday, I can’t see how it would be anyone’s business. But, if him or any other President is going to use their leisure as a photo-op, then they can expect to get slammed by their opponents for being out of touch. That is just how the game is played.

    2. Actually the point of soccer is to kick the ball so that no one can kick it back. In fact, you drive it repeatedly, run after it, and kick it in the same direction.

      Plus, everyone knows golf is not a sport black athletes play. So references to golf, hockey, or tennis are free of racial danger. If Obama had played hockey-horse with Sid Crosby then Gingrich would have free reign.

      1. Clearly. I’ve never seen a black NFL star or NBA star playing golf. Never happens.

        And actually playing golf with a black guy? Preposterous.

        1. Michael Jordan is known to be a good golfer. Charles Barkley has played in tournaments, pro-am fund raiser types, but is really bad.

          1. Sorry for letting you down on that one, Conor.

            1. Heh heh, don’t dig him too hard!

            2. Heh heh, don’t dig him too hard!

      2. I coulda sworn there was a black golfer in the news a LOT lately…gosh, what was that guy’s name…Puma, or Leopard, maybe Lion…something like that?

        1. Eldrick is Cablanasian.

        2. Him? That guy is not any more black than Obama is.

    3. Ya the won is kick ass in between smokes.

    1. They have good intentions but it won’t work. It’s hard to infiltrate something that’s as astroturfed as the TP. Dick Armey knows who his people are.

      1. D- for outdated reference to astroturf.

        Stale, like the pus-milk you suckle from your dead father’s cock.

        1. Thanks for the visual.

          1. Got to get that in your head early if I want to ruin your whole day.

        2. You’d make a great lyricist for Cannibal Corpse.

      2. They have good intentions to do what? Lie and smear people unfairly as racist? yeah that sounds like good intentions.

        Now that it has been outed, it is ineffective. Every offensive sign will be blamed on them.

      3. Forrest, using astroturf tactics to battle astroturf tactics is… well, I’d say redundant, but I hate redunancy. I really, really hate it.

    2. Won’t this just help the Tea Party blame any racism from actual supporters on these guys? Especially if they get on tape and are revealed to be known hyperlefties.

      That said, it might be more fun to simply catch them saying racist and homophobic stuff, then send it to all their campus liberal friends without context and watch them try to explain it.

  11. I’ve never watched MSNBC as it gives me crabs; and I don’t aim to be mean spirited, but this “motivational” poster is classic.…..nload.jpeg

    1. How would you know it gives you crabs if you’ve never watched it?

  12. Leo Messi for president!

  13. Jimmy Carter might not have been much of an athlete but he was quite the sportsman, if hunting house cats over bait is your sport.

  14. Why the hell were they playing basketball in suit and tie? That tells me right there, they were never serious.

    1. playing basketball in suit and tie

      What concerns me is that, in his search for a new Associate Justice, what exactly does Obama mean by “experience on the court”?

  15. sorry, but the most kick-ass manly head of state award goes to Putin…

    1. I guess so if you consider psychotic former KGB enforcer to be “manly”.

      1. I am harsh on my critics, it is true.

        1. Yes, but until you learn the beauty of being harsh to your friends and bow submissively to your enemies, you’re not manly.

    2. Figures you’d have the man-crush on Putin, MNG.

      1. Oh, come on. For all his political and ideological faults, you have to admit that physically Putin is a grade-A badass.

        1. He’s got a great future as a Bond villain.

        2. Fuck Putin.

          I know that’ll upset the Tonys and Chads and whatnot, but that’s what they get for looking up to thugs like him.

    3. Zut, I am banging a supermodel you empty headed animal food trough whopper!

  16. We need somebody who actually focuses on getting people back to work

    understanding how the economy works.

    Hint- a “job” is merely a means to an end, not the end itself.

    Fucking dummies.

  17. Where I come from, anybody who [insert non-sexist version of the term “throws like a girl”] cannot be considered an athlete, no matter how good he is when he plays other 50-year-olds in basketball at the Y.

  18. If you guys elect me president, I promise to do NOTHING BUT play golf all day.

    I’ll make Calvin Coolidge look like a totalitarian dictator by comparison.

    1. You got my vote

      1. Sounds like Joe Walsh’s vice-presidential bid:

        Play golf all day with heads of state

        If they brought beer, wouldn’t that be great? I can’t wait!

  19. For those of you who might not already know, Barnicle is a blithering imbecile.

    1. Barnicle has that regular guy schtick down cold. He is like a happier, saner Jack Cafferty with a more annoying accent

  20. The irony here is astounding: Norah says that criticism of Obama is racist “…because all black people are good athletes”.

    First, I am proud of Obama – as I was of Bush – for demonstrating that life success goes hand-in-hand with good health and high levels of fitness. They set excellent examples.

    But Norah shows herself to be the typical liberal racist as she falls all over herself to make “good” racist comments. What’s next, Norah? Are you going to tell us that all Black people are good dancers? Singers? Something else that essentially demeans their intellectual talents and potential? Are you going to make a point of telling us that you “love” black people – in that certain way that liberals have of, actually, shoving them off to a distance? How about just treating them like human beings, Norah – with all the wild variations in talent and ability that the rest of the human race has?

    1. “…because all black people are good athletes.”

      That’s a half-truth. They’re all good athletes UNLESS they sign a free agent contract with the Cubs, in which case they’re suddenly unable to hit (Milton Bradley), pitch (LaTroy Hawkins) and/or stay healthy (Bradley again).

      1. Well then, you’ll be happy to hear that Milton Bradley is kicking ass as a Mariner. So far this season he’s 1 for 22 with a .045 batting average.

    2. I’m actually surprised no one mentioned it already, but the inference of racism in Gingrich’s rather run-of-the-mill statement is itself the far greater example of racism. She is the one interjecting the old racist canard in where none was even implied.

  21. Gingrich is still a fool for suggesting the president’s job is to get people back to work.

    1. Yes.
      Behold: Republicanism’s best and brightest!

    2. Yes, because clearly the president’s job is to buy our gas and pay our rent.

      Doesn’t everyone know that?

      Oh, and pay our doctors’ bills too.

    3. Wouldn’t you agree that our unemployment problem is in no small part the result of government mistakes? I would.

      1. And we have just the government in mind to fix it!

  22. Clean, articulate; he’s a credit to his race.

  23. Gingrich is still a fool for suggesting the president’s job is to get people back to work.

    1. EXCELLENT point! The govt and the President should NOT be trying to create jobs. They also should NOT get in the way of creating jobs….

  24. And I always thought Contessa Brewer was the dumbest “reporter” (snicker, snicker) at MSNBC, the place for hate.

    Wrong again!



  26. I may be alone here but I was really offended when CBS played that segment of Obama shooting baskets during halftime of one of the final four games. Can’t escape the sniveling c’sucker with his faux humility about not “wanting to make a fool of myself on national TV”.

    1. No you are not the only one. And I would say the same thing even if I liked the guy. You watch things like the final four to get away from politicians.

      1. I watched it for the timeouts and commercials. Best ever!

    2. If Bush made you queasy acting a genuine fool, Obama pushes it to wretch inducing as a phony-assed fool.

      Blech. Away with this goofy self-indulgent hipster jackass for just one brief shining moment, Mah Lawd!

  27. Jocks, jock-wannabes, and jock-sniffers up, economy, society, and culture down. As near to an ironclad rule as history offers.

  28. George Bush wasn’t vain enough to have interviews while bicycling, eventhough he was just as good at that as Obama is at basketball. Its called class.

  29. The man tucks his shirt into his sweatpants when he plays ball. Or he plays in a suit and tie. That’s just douchey

  30. and Capeheart, omg. ..his eyebrows arched a little…….gee, could it be from the butt plug he constantly wears? pfft.

  31. “Last week, Matt Welch posted this clip and ran through the various ways in which Obama revealed himself to be something less than an athlete.”

    I think it just shows him to be a phony about who he is and what he’s about…

    And it isn’t just that he can’t name a single player that’s ever played on his own favorite team; it’s that can’t name anyone that’s ever been on his favorite team and someone on his favorite team threw only the 16th perfect game in 110 years just last year!

    That doesn’t happen every day, you know? But it just happened on his favorite team, and he doesn’t seem to know anything about it…

    It’s almost like he’s not a White Sox fan at all, isn’t it? Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Unless you go around touting the fact that you’re a White Sox fan, in which case you’re a phony.

    It’s not hard to believe a politician in the United States of America would be so phony about something like that, but watchin’ ’em twist in the wind when they get caught being so phony?

    That’s priceless. What a jackass!

  32. “John Demjanjuk enthusiasts”


  33. Is Obama an athlete?


    He’s a limp-wristed, panty-waist wimpy punk liberal.

  34. Was it “athlete” or “afflete” in the original quote?

  35. The tradition of accusing the president of not working hard enough, except at his golf game, is an old and storied motif that dates back at least to Eisenhower.

    The problem is that presidents aren’t taking ENOUGH time off. If Obama takes the next 3+ years off playing basketball, that would be great.

  36. This B-ball bullshit is just insecure little Barry Soetero’s next pathetic attempt to make real, by-God, All- American Black people think he’s one of them.
    That they pretend to believe it pisses me off.
    If you want to impress me, Mr. President, let’s see some 35 year-old gang tats. I know Michelle has some.

  37. oscama not a jock. rode the pine for hawaii high school team. some career.
    will soon create a court time entitlement.

  38. If you say you hope it will be warm today, the lapdog media will call you a racist for like light over darkness. The Democrats and their lapdogs are obsessed with racism because it’s the only argument they have left. If their failures are discussed in any other light than that of their opponents’ supposed racism, they will be seen as what they are, empty people motivated by greed and envy.

  39. Oh no, the black people are athletic stereotype! How awful!

    What horrendous things will those dastardly Rethuglicans go with next? The black men have big dicks stereotype?* Racism!

    *Though it should be noted Obama *is* half white.

  40. What’s that? Somebody said something critical about President Obama?! He must be a RACIST!!! Tar and feather him!

  41. Norah O’Donnell is looking pretty haggy these days – must come from the hate inside her.

  42. Classic example of the pot calling the kettle black. Who are the real racists?


  43. Norah O’Donnell? That Irish Bitch was probably shit faced when said that stuff

  44. He’s not ‘Black’. He’s mulatto, which means he’s as much White as Black. Half and half. To ignore one would be ‘racist’. To emphasize one would be just as ‘racist’.

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