John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Bowling for Donors

Posted on October 29, 2009

According to various news reports, top donors to the President got the run of the White House, including meetings with top officials, and a chance to bowl in the President’s own little bowling alley.

It is the bowling that captured my interest. I think it was Richard Nixon who installed a bowling alley in the White House. Perhaps the President and the Rahminator worked on their enemies list as they bowled a few frames.

Bowling is not the President’s best game, but I am sure practicing with some of his biggest donors gives him the energy to put more zip in his ball.

Who can forget his efforts during the campaign when he tried to appeal to blue collar workers by bowling during the Pennsylvania primary? He threw more than a few gutter balls, and looked like he had never been to a bowling alley before in his life.

Hillary, who at the time was downing shots of whiskey to prove her blue collar toughness, cleaned Obama’s clock in the Keystone State, but it was too little too late for her. She had too many open frames in the earlier primary states and couldn’t catch up.

It was Hillary’s husband who used to rent out the Lincoln Bedroom to big-time donors. That didn’t play well with the American people, but it didn’t really hurt him enough to lose his reelection. Of course, running for President against Bob Dole cures a lot of campaign ills.

The trouble with this latest revelations about the Obama White House is that it proves that all of the talk about the President changing politics as usual was pure bull. He is, in his heart of hearts, a conventional liberal politician, who takes money from the rich, taxes the middle class and creates conditions that make it hard for the poor to escape poverty.

He campaigned on the theme “change you can believe in”, but by bowling with his big donors, the President is showing that he isn’t exactly throwing the ball in the middle of the lane.

A couple of years ago, Robert Putnam wrote a book called BOWLING ALONE: THE COLLAPSE AND 
REVIVAL OF AMERICAN COMMUNITY. His premise was that America was ready to start fraying at the seams because Americans didn’t bowl together in leagues.

Perhaps by “Bowling with Donors”, Obama is channeling his old community organizer roots and trying to set an example for the rest of America.

More likely, he just wants the money.

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