You know that awkward moment when someone asks you if you’ve read a certain book or seen a certain movie and you reflexively say “yes,” even though it’s not true? And then, when there’s a follow-up question, you cop out with something like “Well, it was a long time ago. I don’t remember it very well.”? Yeah. Your president, ladies and gentlemen:
Barack Obama has a well-documented history of shooting, but until now his target list has been confined to election night “hoops” with his basketball buddies, the odd frame of eight-ball pool, and a record number of rounds of golf at Andrews Air Force base.
When Mr. Obama added clay-pigeon shooting to that list in a bid to reassure American gun owners he would not interfere with their hunting, there were those who wondered if the President might be trying just a little too hard.
“Up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time,” Mr Obama breezed to The New Republic magazine, adding he had “a profound respect for the traditions of hunting”.
Quick thought at intermission: Barack Obama’s relationship with the word “profound” is identical to Joe Biden’s relationship with the word “literally.” Carrying on:
The White House press corps were soon firing … questions at Jay Carney, the Obama administration press secretary. “Are there photographs?” the reporters probed, forcing Mr Carney to admit there were none – visibly scrambling to add: “Because when he goes to Camp David, he goes to spend time with his family and friends and relax, not to produce photographs.”
Seasoned correspondents could not help observing that the White House photographer, Pete Souza, has taken pictures of Mr Obama engaged in most other known leisure activities – golfing, basketball, ten-pin bowling in the White House alley, even shooting a water-pistol with his girls at Camp David – but not, it seemed, shooting.
“Um, yeah. I don’t know. I saw it a long time ago.”