I said BOWLing at the White House...
October 20, 2008 3:47 PM   Subscribe

Long discussed, searched for and even relocated, the White House Bowling Alley has been closed to league members since 9/11. The most avid (p)residential bowlers? Lady Bird Johnson and Richard Nixon. (his ball, previously)

But what does Barack Obama think about it? "The bowling alley, I understand, offers us some potential for expansion..." [related Fox News take]
posted by jessamyn (37 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
It was closed in response to the national security briefing "Bin Laden Determined to Bowl A Strike Within US"
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:54 PM on October 20, 2008 [20 favorites]


Well, if he needs the bowling photo op for his reelection run in 2012 he'll need some place to practice.

In other news, the White House has/had a bowling alley.
posted by cjorgensen at 3:55 PM on October 20, 2008


Nixon's ball doesn't have a flag on it, let alone the Presidential Seal?

How plebeian.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:55 PM on October 20, 2008


He should put solar panels all over it.
posted by Artw at 4:04 PM on October 20, 2008


League game, Spiro
posted by Smedleyman at 4:23 PM on October 20, 2008 [6 favorites]


But is the ceiling high enough for basketball?
posted by rokusan at 4:33 PM on October 20, 2008


Take the candidates bowling
Take them bowling
posted by not_on_display at 4:35 PM on October 20, 2008 [4 favorites]


You might fool the fucks in the league office, but you don't fool Jesus. Nobody fucks with the Jesus!
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:53 PM on October 20, 2008 [3 favorites]


An indoor basketball court would be better than a bowling alley. I’d hate to see him have to hang a backboard on the garage, y’know?
Because then just you know all the guys from the Indian Treaty Room will be over playing ball because they have nothing to do all day.
Probably with whomevers staying at Blair House. And the Secretary of Navy will start up a barbeque or something and crank up the music really loud, probably “Louie, Louie” a thousand times on repeat because he still thinks Animal House references are cool juxtiposed with the White House.
And then the Treasury guys’ dads will complain it’s too loud and won’t return the ball if it bounces into their yard. They can be dicks.
They took the White House garden hose during the Carter administration and they still haven’t given it back. And no one wants to ask them.

Because y’know, they’ve got all the money.

Plus they mow the lawn in Pershing Park at like 8 in the morning.
But you can tell the treasury guys they can’t hang out and skateboard with you in Freedom Plaza unless you get your ball back. But either way, an indoor court would be sweet.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:57 PM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


I always knew Dick Nixon had the balls.
posted by dawson at 5:26 PM on October 20, 2008


Hmph....... Hunter S Thompson hated bowling, as well.......
posted by peewinkle at 5:28 PM on October 20, 2008


The image of a President bowling cracks me up for some reason. Maybe because it's humanising.
posted by nola at 5:29 PM on October 20, 2008


Not as humanizing as that wallpaper. Yikes!
posted by Sys Rq at 5:33 PM on October 20, 2008


(p)residential bowlers

You get ten points just for this.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:39 PM on October 20, 2008


The ultimate presidential bowling ball would have Benedict Arnold's skull in it. Just saying.
posted by drezdn at 5:47 PM on October 20, 2008 [4 favorites]


I can't get over that Obama interviews that well for a sports magazine. Compared to the last 8 years of word salad in even the most hard-hitting of publications.

The bowling alley is fascinating. I hope the league is allowed back in. And also that the dress code for visitors is done away with.

So is the thing about the briefing room being built on top of a swimming pool also true?
posted by Tehanu at 5:55 PM on October 20, 2008


Replace it with Wii Bowling!
posted by mullingitover at 5:55 PM on October 20, 2008


Swimming pool!
posted by Tehanu at 5:59 PM on October 20, 2008 [4 favorites]


A bowling alley? Pikers.
posted by Kikkoman at 6:10 PM on October 20, 2008


That smug grin on Nixon's face? He drank your milkshake. It was delicious.
posted by Andrew Brinton at 6:58 PM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, sure, Nixon's ball isn't fur-lined, but it is a good respectable cloth-covered ball filled with the blood of Checkers.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:13 PM on October 20, 2008


Somehow I am reminded of Camper Van Beethoven's song "Take the Skinheads Bowling"
posted by Eekacat at 7:22 PM on October 20, 2008


You know who else had a private bowling alley? That's right: Daniel Plainview.
posted by muckster at 7:47 PM on October 20, 2008


drezdn! I think I found that bowling ball!
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 7:53 PM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


It was on the White House tennis court where Calvin Coolidge, Jr. got a blister after playing without socks, which led to his death by blood-poisoning at the age of 16.

That White House Museum site is AWESOME.
posted by smackfu at 7:59 PM on October 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


jessamyn: "But what does Barack Obama think about it? "The bowling alley, I understand, offers us some potential for expansion..." [related Fox News take]"

PRESUMPTUOUS OBAMA VOWS TO DESTROY BOWLING, FREEDOM
posted by Rhaomi at 8:00 PM on October 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


That White House Museum site is AWESOME.

Yes it is!

John Kennedy sometimes held swimming races with Cabinet members. He liked the pool so much that he made a habit of stopping by at noon, stripping down for a swim, and padding back to his bedroom for lunch and a nap in nothing but a robe. He did the same at the end of the day, dressing again for dinner. As a result, Chief Usher JB West observed, "John F Kennedy wore three separate suits of clothes every day of his White House life." During the Johnson administration, the walls were hung with dozens of bathing suits of all sizes so that guests could swim.

And that little subplot in The West Wing where Sam Seaborn wanted to move the press corps so the staff could use the pool? Hillary Clinton wanted to do that for real. I always assumed they just made that up.
posted by Tehanu at 8:06 PM on October 20, 2008


This will not stand, ya know, this aggression will not stand, man.
posted by furtive at 8:14 PM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


The President's bedroom had some creepy wallpaper when Reagan was there.
posted by smackfu at 8:33 PM on October 20, 2008


Seconding that that White House Museum site is amazing.

Zachary Taylor's slaves lived in the White House (for some reason this had never occurred to me) and had secret rooms in the attic, which they had to climb up to with ladders, because slavery had become controversial by Taylor's time.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:25 PM on October 20, 2008


For a long time the only bowling alleys in DC were private — The White House, another a few blocks away at GW University, and on Bolling AFB in SW Anacostia
posted by blasdelf at 11:59 PM on October 20, 2008


This is probably as good a place as any to share some ideas from my forthcoming book - Bowling with Republicans. I aim to provide a fair and balanced alternative to other politically oriented sources, such as Michael Moore's Bowling with Columbians. God, I hate Columbians.

I started political bowling during the Reagan administration. Reagan himself believed in "trickle down bowling"; it was only necessary to knock down the head pin and the rest would fall. I admired his belief in this system, even though it contradicted basic laws of physics.

When George W. Bush came to power they brought me in as a bowling adviser. They said that they liked the way I scored the mid-regionals in Florida where the Republican bowler defeated his Democratic rival with a score of 301 to 299. Very quickly I became a close confidant of the Republican bowling team.

I was with the Bush team at some critical junctures. Let me quote from my book - a passage which follows the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina:
Mr. President, you have dropped the ball.
"The white pins are still standing."


In my book I talk about bowling with Karl Rove - he could put a good spin on the ball, though always to the right - and about the time I bowled with Dick Cheney and somehow he hit me in the face with the ball.

My book has caused controversy throughout the Republican bowling community. Today I bowl alone.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:54 AM on October 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


I bowl alone

Isn't that a George Thorogood song?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:29 AM on October 21, 2008


LBJ had a tap installed for Fresca?
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:38 AM on October 21, 2008


LBJ had a tap installed for Fresca?

You know, that was the main thing I took away from all this research for this post. FRESCA?

thanks to n_o_d 's research assistance, btw
posted by jessamyn at 9:25 AM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Really. Back then, he could have had Moxie.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:13 PM on October 21, 2008


Fresca on tap. Damn, that's refreshing.
posted by not_on_display at 1:26 PM on October 21, 2008


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