Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Presidential Bowling Watch

If the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, has a kryptonite, it is bowling. First, there was his 37 game at Pleasant Valley Lanes in Altoona, Pennsylvania on March 29, 2008. Then, there was his Special Olympics crack in an interview with Leno. Both of these are among the low points of his presidential campaign and career, respectively. But for the first time, there has been a bit of news about the President's bowling game that is not bad, although I'm sure Limbaugh or O'Reilly could find a way to turn this into some nonsensical scathing critique. During President Obama's 48th birthday weekend at Camp David (8/1- 8/2), he bowled a 144. Now, a 144 is not a very good score by most bowling measures, but it is perfectly respectable. And it is a full 16 pins better than the last score reported. I must also admit that it is four pins fewer than what I predicted.

Nonetheless, the president seems to be improving at bowling. Below is the official Presidential Bowling Time Series. It now has three data points, and it will be filled out with time. I'm guessing that the Obama pledge to transparency in the White House does not extend to bowling scores in that we will only hear about his best games. So, we'll treat this as a record of his high scores. Over a period of 491 days, his high score has improved a full 107 pins, or an average of approximately .22 pins per day since that fateful day in PA. If that trend continues, he'll have a high score of 314 by the end of his first term. See, he really is Superman. If we should be so lucky to experience a 2nd Obama term, by its end, he'll be regularly bowling in the low 630's.


Kidding aside, the guy's bowling game seems to be improving, but if the administration truly wants to demonstrate this, they should post every score he gets right here. I will happily analyze his progress and advise as to whether a repeat trip to the Pleasant Valley Lanes would be a strategic move in his next campaign.

Two more thoughts, Mr. President. First, I predict that the next bowling score reported will be somewhere around a 160, but that they will quickly plateau after that. If you really want to improve your game and a make a big impression three years from now in Altoona, it is time to start working on a hook. It's not like you have anything else to do. It will take a little practice, and at first it might be ugly, but if you walk into a campaign stop and throw a big swinging strike, you will walk out of there with your head held high.

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