Guest Blogs

Obama’s Special Mistake

As a mom of a special-needs child, I’m willing to forgive — this time.

I stayed up late last Thursday night to watch President Obama’s appearance on Jay Leno’s show. I’m a big Obama fan. I desperately want him to have a kick-butt presidency, for his sake, for the U.S.’s sake, for the world’s sake. So, I gladly gave up an hour or two of sleep to watch him cast about his charm via Leno.

“He’s so intelligent,” I commented to my husband, Don, as the back-and-forth banter started.

“He doesn’t sound like a politician at all,” Don responded.

Then, it happened: Obama’s Special Mistake. Did you hear it, or hear about it? Obama compared his bowling prowess to that of a Special Olympian.

Don was right; that certainly didn’t sound like a politician. “He’s in trouble,” I said, disappointed.

After the gaffe, I read that the White House issued an apology before the show even aired; that Obama phoned the Special Olympics chairman from Air Force One to apologize personally; and that Sarah Palin was thrilled that President Obama threw her a crumb to use to her own political advantage.

As the mother of a child who receives special education services, I’d like to tell the President that I’m sad he made a joke at my child’s expense, but that this time, I’m willing to forgive him. I’m confident he’ll spend the next eight years making up for his mistake by devoting a little time and attention to special education initiatives and mental health care reform!

Yes, I’m sad, and not just because my superhero took a step off his pedestal. Nor because he showed such poor taste by choosing Leno over Letterman. No, I’m sad mainly because Nat, in true special-Natalie style, chose the one night I stayed up past 10 p.m. to awaken, fully refreshed, at 1 a.m.

Oh well, with Sarah Palin out there attempting to make her move, who can sleep anyway?