Obama Administration

This Is Austerity: The White House Will Install a Snazzier Bowling Alley

We are down to a small military presence and our White House bowling alley.


Wikimedia Commons

As everyone knows, the U.S. government is operating under strict austerity budgeting, pinching every penny and slashing every expense. Despite this reality, the White House still found some money to renovate its bowling alley.

Thank goodness. Now White House visitors will be spared from the horror of "chipped lanes and worn-out shoes." (Is this some Third World hellhole, or is this America?) According to Time:

The exclusive bowling lanes reserved for White House employees and their guests are getting an upgrade.

According to a federal contractor posting, the General Services Administration is seeking to modernize the 1940s-era lanes, which were first located in the West Wing near what is now the Situation Room. The two-lane Harry S. Truman Bowling Alley was moved to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in 1955 for the use of White House staffers.

The bowling alley was recently photographed by POLITICO, which described "chipped lanes and worn-out shoes" in the basement getaway. "It has been fifteen years since these lanes have had any professional, industry standard maintenance, modifications, repairs or attention," the GSA wrote in the posting. "They are now irreparable."

Irreparable! Much like our national character, so long as our White House's bowling alley is not up to snuff.

"It could use [the renovations]," one recent bowler told TIME on the condition his name not be used. "It's quaint and feels old. There's no electric scoreboard, so you have to score by hand—which is just debilitating when you're focused on bowling a 300 like I am."

Debilitating. All Americans should be thankful that years of severe spending cuts have nevertheless left room for this critical function of government: the maintenance of a suitable bowling alley. As House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi so wisely put it, "There's no more cuts to make." None. We are down to a small military presence and our White House bowling alley.

On a side note: The poor state of the White House bowling alley could explain why President Obama is so embarrassingly terrible at bowling. At an infamous campaign event in Pennsylvania a few years back, he managed to score a mere 37.

NEXT: The Trouble With the Administration's Obamacare Auto-Renewal Proposal

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  1. There’s no electric scoreboard, so you have to score by hand?which is just debilitating when you’re focused on bowling a 300 like I am.

    Trolling, or really just that out of touch?

    Also, as someone who has probably bowled a 37* before, I say back off Obama on this one.

    *But only when not using bumpers.

    1. The football field where I coach doesn’t have an electric scoreboard, or any scoreboard for that matter. I can’t remember when I ever got to use an electric scoreboard for bowling, although some alleys had them.

  2. To bowl a 37 you must be seriously uncoordinated.

    1. Dude check his handle out. It is hard to knock a pin down when it is dangling from the ball setter by a noose. In fact, I’m impressed by a 37 under those circumstances.

      1. Not what I was going for.

  3. What do you people want?

    Do you really want President Xi Jinping to have a better bowling alley?


  4. Anybody with a bowling alley in his house is probably an asshole.

    (Flipped a coin and went with There Will Be Blood instead of Kingpin.)

  5. As someone who is, to put it mildly, co-ordination challenged, I would be delighted with a 37.

    (In a 3 game set.)


    I once shot a 73 in golf.

    On the back nine, I got 78.

  6. Nobody maintained it so it has to be replaced. The libertarian approach to infrastructure everywhere.

    1. There would be plenty of money for maintenance in my part of the country if the government would quit diverting gas tax dollars to pay for light rail boondoggles, not build overbudget tunnel projects in an earthquake fault zone, mandate that 1 percent of all road projects be used for freeway artwork, and build freeway lids over the roads that lie near homes of the 0.1 percenters.

    2. You are like a sarcastic parody of yourself, except pathetic rather than funny.

    3. Nobody maintained it because nobody was using it.

      The libertarian approach to (government) infrastructure is to not replace stuff you don’t use.

      The proggy approach to infrastructure, and everything else, is to throw money at regardless.

      So, we’re going to spend a crapload on a bowling alley nobody uses. Genius!

  7. I think this is article is silly. Moar bowling, less oppressing.

  8. Sometimes man you jsut gotta roll the right number thats all man.


    1. How soon till they start arguing back?

  9. They have posted a cancellation… guess they realized perhaps not the wisest move.

    1. That’s because the press started reporting on it. They’ll go ahead with it when no one is watching.

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