Even On Vacation, Obama Can't Shake Bowling Jokes

President-elect Barack Obama thought he'd put the bowling jokes behind him.

Not likely.

On the golf course Monday, a woman waiting at the 18th green reminded Obama of his disastrous bowling during the presidential campaign. It was an unwelcome reminder for Obama, whose golf game during a 12-day vacation has been just as troublesome.

"That was pretty good, right?" Obama said to cheers as he finished a round of golf near his $9 million rented vacation home near Honolulu.

The woman sitting on a nearby wall shouted, "Better than your bowling."

Obama smiled and went back to lining up his putt, which he got close to the hole but not in.

The woman's quip referred to Obama's embarrassing bowling outing in Pennsylvania, when he knocked down only 37 pins — with the assist during two frames from an 8-year-old. It was an effort to connect with working-class voters, yet he lost Pennsylvania's primary election to Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Likewise, Obama has struggled with his golf game. He told reporters during his first round last week that he wasn't that good; he asked other patrons for tips on his second. On Monday he joked that his final drive of the day went only 20 yards.

It was Obama's third trip to a course while on holiday. Accompanying him were Bobby Titcomb, a friend from high school in Hawaii, friends Martin Nesbitt and Greg Orme, and aide Eugene Kang.

Obama has sought to stay out of the public eye while here, opting for private meals at his vacation home or at a friend's house. Obama has no public schedule during his stay, although aides say he has been receiving national security briefings and speaking with transition officials.

Earlier in the day, Obama returned to a military gym where he has exercised every morning except Christmas since beginning his vacation on Dec. 20.

Obama, his wife and daughters are due to return to Chicago on Jan. 1.


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