Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on April 14, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

I’ve gotten some strange hat-tips on OOTDs before, but never one from Barack Obama himself. Yeah, and I still haven’t, although President Obama appears to have corroborated an odd set of circumstances over the weekend when he absented himself from the White House, ostensibly to visit his daughter’s soccer game.  The press pool attempted to catch up with him, but quicker than one can flash a yellow card, suddenly Obama was no longer there.  Cat Corben provides the details at The American Thinker:

Reading the story about President Obama breaking tradition and ditching the presidential press pool over the weekend to watch one of his daughter’s soccer games, it appears harmless, right? Not so. It is rather disturbing when you dissect it. So let’s do just that. According to the Chicago Sun Times, the press pool was to assemble at 11:30AM.

However, Time reported:

The president left the White House at approximately 9:20 to attend one of his daughter’s soccer games at 40th and Chesapeake NW. A pool was hastily called at around 9:35 and drove north at 9:43 to catch the president before the game ended. We didn’t make it. The President returned to the White House at 10:17. The pool returned at 10:30.  We now return you to your regularly scheduled pool call time.

Seems simple enough. But the story has several problems. The first one is a biggie in that there were no scheduled soccer games for Sidwell Friends April 10, as evidenced here. The second is that the area reported that the game was played at appears to be one of high crime, as documented here and here. Additionally, this is a picture of the field via Google Maps, where Obama went to watch the game.

Another problem is that when the press pool got close to the reported location, they were told that Obama was leaving and to turn around. The press pool complied, but why? Wouldn’t they have wanted a photo of him, even leaving the event, to formally document his whereabouts? What’s also suspect is the very casual, nothing-to-see-here tone of the Time article.

Corben then parses the time down to a window of only 20 minutes that Obama could have possibly been at a soccer game, assuming one took place at all.  So what happened?  There may be occasions when Presidents need to ditch the press pool, for any number of legitimate purposes.  Usually, it’s done to keep attention off of the President for some diplomatic or personal reason.  If that was the case with this incident, it was handled about as poorly as one could imagine.  Besides, any of those legitimate reasons would take more than the 57 minutes Obama took outside the White House.

That brings us back to the President, who sarcastically acknowledged the fumble:

Prior to Obama’s bilateral meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Obama told his colleague, “Apparently I caused quite a problem,” adding something about his secretary not telling the Secret Service, according to, ironically enough, the pool report.

“They were very upset about it,” he said. “It was big news today.”

The Associated Press wrote that Obama “quietly breached years of protocol” by leaving the White House Saturday morning without taking the press pool with him.

If the soccer-game story was on the level, then it’s even more amateurish.  Why break protocol to attend 20 minutes of a game?  After going to all that trouble, Obama should have stuck around for the entire event.  Unless, perhaps, he had the date wrong in the first place and left after standing alone for a while — which may be the simplest answer that covers all of the facts.

Update: Tom Maguire thinks the soccer game was legit, which still leaves the amateurish handling of the press pool and raising the kerfuffle for a 20-minute visit, as I noted above.

Update II: Mark Knoller tweeted that one of his CBS colleagues was at the game and saw Obama there.  (h/t HA reader Sparks)

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at obamaisms@edmorrissey.com with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!


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I think “Apparently I caused quite a problem” should be this administration’s epitaph.

apostic on April 14, 2010 at 8:11 AM

He doesn’t know when his own daughter’s soccer games are? I guess it’s easy to get confused when you’re busy destroying the country.

SagebrushPuppet on April 14, 2010 at 8:11 AM

Something stinks with this one.

milwife88 on April 14, 2010 at 8:11 AM

It’s just that lying comes so easily to him. And, he’s still playing his highschool version of “made you look.” Our nation has never been run by such an amateurish bunch of fools and inexperienced wannabees as are in the WH now. I fear for my country.

Crusader Rabbit on April 14, 2010 at 8:12 AM

Clumsy cloak and dagger?

dear leader is no 007

cmsinaz on April 14, 2010 at 8:12 AM

I thought the more interesting media story was the growing outrage by the media about how the WH is locking them out.

See the latest nuclear summitt meeting.

This tactic could so backfire. Already, world leaders are commenting without any real evidence to contradict them, since no press was allowed in, and that’ll be the problem of locking out the press.

Transparency? Hardly. Dangerous for the WH. You bet.

AnninCA on April 14, 2010 at 8:13 AM

It’s hard for me to imagine Mr. Photo Op wouldn’t have loved being seen at a soccer game.

Cindy Munford on April 14, 2010 at 8:13 AM

it was handled about as poorly as one could imagine

that’s about par for dear leader…

cmsinaz on April 14, 2010 at 8:14 AM

Strange. If it was Bill Clinton, we’d know what it was about without asking.

RBMN on April 14, 2010 at 8:14 AM

Why am I picturing the presidential limo cruising through the kind of neighborhood where sneekers hang from power lines?

Disturb the Universe on April 14, 2010 at 8:15 AM

The second is that the area reported that the game was played at appears to be one of high crime

Was he going to buy some crack?

That would explain quite a bit.

BacaDog on April 14, 2010 at 8:15 AM

Barak Hussein Obama as “Cinderfella”!

Shy Guy on April 14, 2010 at 8:16 AM

Hmmm…wonder what the President is hiding from the MSM and WH press pool? Doncha know,it’s not nice to fool the MSM!!!

yoda on April 14, 2010 at 8:18 AM

Unless, perhaps, he had the date wrong in the first place and left after standing alone for a while — which may be the simplest answer that covers all of the facts.

This is Obama we are talking about here. I’m guessing this is our answer.

cntrlfrk on April 14, 2010 at 8:20 AM

again, it’s one of those if W had done this…this would be 24/7 news

cmsinaz on April 14, 2010 at 8:21 AM

If the girls really did have a “soccer game” one would think that there would have been some form of press or the “offical WH photgrapher” there to document the whole thing.

milwife88 on April 14, 2010 at 8:21 AM

dear leader is no 007

cmsinaz on April 14, 2010 at 8:12 AM

You’re wrong on the first part but right on the second…LOL

rich801 on April 14, 2010 at 8:22 AM

I wonder how long it is going to take the MSM to figure out that Obama just isn’t that in to them? They have been lied to and stood up so many times that it is laughable. Will any of them be curious enough to actually find out what happened? Will any of them ever figure it out?

BetseyRoss on April 14, 2010 at 8:23 AM

Unless, perhaps, he had the date wrong in the first place and left after standing alone for a while — which may be the simplest answer that covers all of the facts.

Yeah, right.

That explanation is more improbable than not.

Sorry Ed.

The simpler explanation is that he was doing something, or seeing someone that he’d rather not have the press document. Period.

I’ll leave it up to my fellow commenters to supply the guesses and speculation.

I have my own thoughts on the matter which I will keep to myself.

For the moment.

CPT. Charles on April 14, 2010 at 8:24 AM

Bill Ayers was not available for comment.

Daggett on April 14, 2010 at 8:25 AM

Sarcasm. Don’t you just love that in a POTUS?!

DrStock on April 14, 2010 at 8:26 AM

Unless, perhaps, he had the date wrong in the first place and left after standing alone for a while — which may be the simplest answer that covers all of the facts.

So, he and Michelle aren’t speaking any longer? Where is Grandma to keep tabs on all this family activity?
.

Strange. If it was Bill Clinton, we’d know what it was about without asking.

RBMN on April 14, 2010 at 8:14 AM

It’s about time for this stuff to start happening, isn’t it?

ExpressoBold on April 14, 2010 at 8:26 AM

Blogger Tom Maguire figured this out, and it’s really no big deal. So what if the President tried to split from constant surveillance for twenty minutes to watch his daughter play soccer? How is this an OOTD?

Being an active father while President is tough and the MSM ought to just take a deep breath on this one and wink it off.

MTF on April 14, 2010 at 8:28 AM

MTF on April 14, 2010 at 8:28 AM

did you read Ed’s piece above?

cmsinaz on April 14, 2010 at 8:30 AM

A few harrumphs from some in the media, but they will be back in line shortly, ready to fluff. Where else have they to go?

Extrafishy on April 14, 2010 at 8:30 AM

Geezuz! Just let him eat his waffle!

Cybergeezer on April 14, 2010 at 8:31 AM

CPT. Charles on April 14, 2010 at 8:24 AM

Agreed. Somethings not right here. In the article it also states they can’t verify that the SS went with him and his little “trip” was s few hours after the plane went down with 95 Polish leaders.

milwife88 on April 14, 2010 at 8:32 AM

guess who knew whether they had soccer game or not? the daughter! and she would have had to go earlier with her own contingent of Secret Service. there is no way Bambi, even Bambi, could have gotten confused on this.

Even so, I am tempted to ask “who cares? how could he F*ck us in such a short time?” but alas, I’m beginning to see the answer to that.

kelley in virginia on April 14, 2010 at 8:32 AM

cntrlfrk on April 14, 2010 at 8:20 AM

The SS detail knows where everyone is [that they’re supposed to be protecting], every minute of the day.

Are you saying the individual protection teams don’t coordinate with each other? Try again.

Not to mention the athletic schedule posted above; this is the time of year when [usually] soccer teams have their ‘tryouts’ for new members. The ‘practice’ games haven’t even begun yet [in most places].

Nice try though.

CPT. Charles on April 14, 2010 at 8:34 AM

He snuck off for some enlightenment from Rev. Wright? Farakhan? Jackson? Sharpton?
Or he told Michelle he was just going out for a pack of cigarettes?
Who was the “lucky” lady?

Cybergeezer on April 14, 2010 at 8:35 AM

Dear reader had to make a quick stop pickup, didn’t want anybody to know whose his daddy.

tarpon on April 14, 2010 at 8:39 AM

Since soccer isn’t an individual game — like for instance, going off to Camp David to play a round of golf — there should be a bunch of other kids, parents, coaches, officials, etc. who would have had to have been at the same place and who could collaborate Obama’s story if he was at a game. That’s really shouldn’t be too hard for the White House press corps to find out.

jon1979 on April 14, 2010 at 8:40 AM

So he used his daughter as an excuse for ditching the press? Weird.

scalleywag on April 14, 2010 at 8:40 AM

perhaps, he had the date wrong in the first place and left after standing alone for a while — which may be the simplest answer that covers all of the facts.

He’s never standing alone. There’s always a throng of admirers with him, but they’re all in his head.

ya2daup on April 14, 2010 at 8:42 AM

It’s pretty hard to score crack, with the press breathing down your neck.

Or, so I’m told.

franksalterego on April 14, 2010 at 8:43 AM

When Obama comes out in a couple of days and says “go ahead and follow me…you’ll be bored” then we’ll know what’s up.

JohnTant on April 14, 2010 at 8:44 AM

I think “Apparently I caused quite a problem” should be this administration’s epitaph.

apostic on April 14, 2010 at 8:11 AM

ha

JetBoy on April 14, 2010 at 8:44 AM

Obvious! Secret meeting with Tiger, he was getting some tips.

JimK on April 14, 2010 at 8:45 AM

some Presidents are almost regular guys. they want private time without Secret Service reminding them that they are way cool because their ego isn’t quite as big as the Oval Office. Even Clinton wanted private time. Granted, maybe he was using that time for nefarious ends.

there is no way Bambi, with an ego bigger than the state of Texas, go anywhere without his Secret Service detail proclaiming to the world “hey,here I am, I am a big shot”

kelley in virginia on April 14, 2010 at 8:45 AM

jon1979 on April 14, 2010 at 8:40 AM

Maybe, if the journalist in question doesn’t mind getting their WH Press Pass yanked.

Digging up dirt on Teh One isn’t a career builder these days.

CPT. Charles on April 14, 2010 at 8:47 AM

Tax Free Cigarettes

screwauger on April 14, 2010 at 8:48 AM

That’s really shouldn’t be too hard for the White House press corps to find out.

That would require the WH press corps to actually do its job, which isn’t something they’ve been accustomed to in recent years.

And it’s hard for me to have any sympathy for them at all over this.

irishspy on April 14, 2010 at 8:48 AM

best prez evah

blatantblue on April 14, 2010 at 8:48 AM

When he shakes his Secret Service detail I’ll worry about it, this was probably just a quick get together with Larry.

thomasaur on April 14, 2010 at 8:51 AM

We were having fun with this yesterday reading (and contributing) to all the different scenarios over at Lucianne! However, I did remember that my niece played soccer all through grade school and her soccer team was not affiliated with her school although they had one. It was through her community center so maybe the girls are in the same situation and, if so, I’m sure the White House would love for the conspiracy to bloom so they can knock us down in the future.

deedledee on April 14, 2010 at 8:53 AM

I think “Apparently I caused quite a problem” should be this administration’s epitaph.

apostic on April 14, 2010 at 8:11 AM

This is the real OOTD. If Bush had ever said that, no matter what the circumstances, it would have been in the NYT, WaPo, etc, as half page size headlines. I hope this line goes on Obama’s gravestone after he dies in obscurity in about 2035.

jwolf on April 14, 2010 at 8:53 AM

Blogger Tom Maguire figured this out, and it’s really no big deal. So what if the President tried to split from constant surveillance for twenty minutes to watch his daughter play soccer? How is this an OOTD?

Being an active father while President is tough and the MSM ought to just take a deep breath on this one and wink it off.

MTF on April 14, 2010 at 8:28 AM

Ummmm, no they shouldn’t. He works for Us. I am sickened by this attitude. Let him break protocol, be rude to allies, bow to Dictators, exchange gifts with Socialists, allow Terrorists to get Nukes, protocol shmotocol…he’s just trying to be a good Dad, Husband, blah blah blah.
Spare me.

screwauger on April 14, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Secretary under the bus. ?aybe he was meeting Jack Bauer.

reaganaut on April 14, 2010 at 8:56 AM

And Michelle out of town…in Mexico or Haiti…
and Obama sneaks out to meet…
a) Girlfriend
b) Rev. Wright.
c) Bill Ayers
d) guy working on that new Birth Certificate

albill on April 14, 2010 at 8:56 AM

Tax Free Cigarettes

screwauger on April 14, 2010 at 8:48 AM

You think this jerk off is putting out his own money to buy his smokes ??

Go ahead Obozo, smoke a carton a day for all I care ….. and I’ll gladly pay for it.

What ?? It’s just a joke, you know, like the teacher’s union “prayer” to my Gov Christie, that’s all.

Jerome Horwitz on April 14, 2010 at 9:01 AM

To be perfectly honest with you Ed M.; I’m no longer of the belief that any of this is amateurism. This is all by design and has been very well thought out.

While we are busy looking at this man as a rookie amateur fool, he is marching forward with a plan we have yet to figure out. Honestly, this man seems to have none of the boundaries that guide most Americans behavior.

Keemo on April 14, 2010 at 9:02 AM

foolio

blatantblue on April 14, 2010 at 9:02 AM

albill on April 14, 2010 at 8:56 AM

e) RuePaul

CPT. Charles on April 14, 2010 at 9:03 AM

Prior to Obama’s bilateral meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Obama told his colleague, “Apparently I caused quite a problem,”…

“They were very upset about it,” he said. “It was big news today.”

“Oh man, that’s very upsetting. Hey, one of my predecessors recently got assassinated and we have a little problem with the Taliban controlling our northern provinces, but let’s hear some more about your press pool drama, man…” said Gilani

forest on April 14, 2010 at 9:05 AM

When I first heard this I thought that he claims to not want to go to church because it would be disruptive, but wouldn’t it be just as disruptive to go to his daughter’s soccer game? They would have had metal detectors, the place cordoned off etc. He should go to the games, but this whole thing just doesn’t add up.

Maybe he was tired of MO’s constant harping on eating right and wanted a donut.

Beaglemom on April 14, 2010 at 9:09 AM

Out for a smoke? Or a ‘cigar’…?

rockbend on April 14, 2010 at 9:09 AM

He was meeting Jack Bauer.

The Secret Service should really bump up security now because we all know what happens to people who meet Jack. Oh, nevermind. The mole is probably head of his detail.

Jaynie59 on April 14, 2010 at 9:10 AM

f) Monica Lewinski

screwauger on April 14, 2010 at 9:15 AM

Is his Secret Service name “Waldo”?

ladyingray on April 14, 2010 at 9:16 AM

“Apparently I caused quite a problem” sounds to me quite a lot like…


Did I do that?
/SteveUrkel

powerpro on April 14, 2010 at 9:17 AM

So what?

If only he could leave the White House, never to return, we’d all be happier.

NoDonkey on April 14, 2010 at 9:18 AM

And this POS has a Security Clearance?

Cybergeezer on April 14, 2010 at 9:18 AM

I agree it was about running out to the 7-11 for a carton of Newports. He probably made the driver park around the corner and run in for his smokes, maybe buy a lottery ticket and pick up a jack-rag like “Cheri” . . .

tpitman on April 14, 2010 at 9:19 AM

I wish he’d get the WHOLE stereotype right, go out for a pack of cigarettes and then not come back.

Daggett on April 14, 2010 at 9:20 AM

C’mon guys. He’s never done anything or run anything before. Give the newbie a chance. /

Mojave Mark on April 14, 2010 at 9:21 AM

Okay.

The simplest answer: Up To NFG.

CPT. Charles on April 14, 2010 at 9:27 AM

Maybe he ducked out for a cigarette.

I think Breitbart should offer cash money for a current picture of the President of the United States smoking a ciggie.

Mr. Health Care.

jeff_from_mpls on April 14, 2010 at 9:27 AM

Well, he couldn’t just come out and say, “Excuse me. I’ve got an appointment with Mr. Soros”, could he?

kingsjester on April 14, 2010 at 9:28 AM

He was meeting Jack Bauer.

The Secret Service should really bump up security now because we all know what happens to people who meet Jack. Oh, nevermind. The mole is probably head of his detail.

Jaynie59 on April 14, 2010 at 9:10 AM

Wrong… He IS the mole.

CapedConservative on April 14, 2010 at 9:33 AM

did you read Ed’s piece above?

cmsinaz on April 14, 2010 at 8:30 AM

Do you think before typing? Making a big deal out of a minor press piss-off isn’t very interesting or smart.

MTF on April 14, 2010 at 9:36 AM

Something stinks with this one.

milwife88 on April 14, 2010 at 8:11 AM
//
Ummm,how about everybody in Washington?!

ohiobabe on April 14, 2010 at 9:37 AM

If we\’re talking about ticking off the press, reliable lib Dana Milbank\’s column might be a better exemplar of how the President is going about alienating his best friends.

MTF on April 14, 2010 at 9:46 AM

He ran out quick for a pack of smokes and a dime bag

Daveyardbird on April 14, 2010 at 9:51 AM

If he hooked up with a woman, given the offered time frame of 20 minutes, we can quit calling him Obow and start calling him Quick Draw McGraw.

Even without the press nearby he gets coverage. I’m wondering if maybe he’s trying to build a mystique of being visible but ‘unattainable’, like so many tyrants and wannabes have done in the past.

Liam on April 14, 2010 at 9:52 AM

Oh please, you guys. You wish.

Obama is sexless, in my opinion. Typical passive-aggressive guy.

AnninCA on April 14, 2010 at 10:02 AM

He was meeting with the bilderburgs!!!!!11l1!!eleventy!

/

Joe Caps on April 14, 2010 at 10:14 AM

He had to run out real quick and wreck part of the economy.

Akzed on April 14, 2010 at 10:25 AM

Doesn’t ObaMao have a history of being unaccountable for his actions?

onlineanalyst on April 14, 2010 at 10:37 AM

The SS detail knows where everyone is [that they're supposed to be protecting], every minute of the day.

Are you saying the individual protection teams don’t coordinate with each other? Try again.

This raises an interesting question about the Secret Service. We’ve all read stories about fanatic fathers of child athletes getting violent against referees, coaches, and fathers of opposing players. Did Obama ever think that perhaps a father of an opposing player (against his daughter) could blow his stack and take it out on HIM?

Couldn’t Obama have sent Michelle to videotape the soccer game, and he could have watched it later?

Sasha: Daddy, where are you?

Obama: Somewhere in one of those 57 states, Sweetie!

Steve Z on April 14, 2010 at 10:42 AM

“quietly breached years of protocol”

In computer science terms, “protocol” is a set of procedures to interface between “equal peers.” I’m sure the POTUS doesn’t look at the White House Press corpse as a “peer.”

J_Crater on April 14, 2010 at 10:44 AM

Is his Secret Service name “Waldo”?

ladyingray on April 14, 2010 at 9:16 AM

Good one!

mikeyboss on April 14, 2010 at 10:47 AM

This fraud’s hubris is finally going to turn at least some members of the WH press corps on him. His breathtaking arrogance is wearing thin even on some of the bum kissers in the MSM.
The constant lying is a given at this point, but the blatant unaccountability to those complicit in the media cover-up of The Won’s background, won’t sit well with “reporters” that know they are sitting on the biggest hijacking in our history.

ontherocks on April 14, 2010 at 10:52 AM

Obama: ‘scuse me, I gotta go score some crack.

Daggett on April 14, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Oh please, you guys. You wish.

Obama is sexless, in my opinion.

AnninCA on April 14, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Hey – I can’t believe I agree with you on something.

Daggett on April 14, 2010 at 11:17 AM

MTF on April 14, 2010 at 9:36 AM

why yes i do

it is the way dear leader has handled the whole issue….

cmsinaz on April 14, 2010 at 12:00 PM

When the cat’s away…

Christien on April 14, 2010 at 2:18 PM

Is it news that Obama is a liar?

Army Brat on April 14, 2010 at 3:19 PM

I couldn’t even find soccer on the game schedule. Eh? And, the field in the link is is just plain nasty. what’s the deal?

LarryG on April 14, 2010 at 4:38 PM

One more thought: Don’t his daughters have protection from the Secret Service? Is this just another FU by the incompetent SS? I don’t think so. Someone had to know something and would coordinate events.

LarryG on April 14, 2010 at 4:49 PM

Well, he is from Chicago. 20 minutes might be enough for the soccer game… how long would it take his SEIU thugs to kneecap the girls on the opposing team?

malclave on April 14, 2010 at 4:55 PM