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"You Will Levitate!"
May 15, 2010 5:38 PM   Subscribe

President Obama makes reporter sit on toy hovercraft.
posted by WPW (78 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Best with the sound on.
posted by WPW at 5:38 PM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


funny stuff... it IS nice to have a POTUS that has a sense of humor....
posted by HuronBob at 5:45 PM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Our president is awesome and funny.

Love the rocket launcher question at the end. Even though I'm pretty sure he just wants to take on the moon again.
posted by jeoc at 5:45 PM on May 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


Worst. Roomba. Ever.
posted by chillmost at 5:49 PM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


He was obviously worried about having a Dukakis moment, can't blame him, but I wonder if he wanted to try. Now I want to be a NYT reporter and a longer ride.
posted by Some1 at 5:49 PM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would ride a hovercraft for President Obama.
posted by jquinby at 5:49 PM on May 15, 2010 [19 favorites]


I so much wanted him to say "Oh yeah, I saw this on Mythbusters".
posted by DU at 5:51 PM on May 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


but I wonder if he wanted to try.

He could probably ask for a prototype and try it out in the privacy of the white house.
posted by drezdn at 5:51 PM on May 15, 2010


Tagged: the president is a nerd
posted by DU at 5:52 PM on May 15, 2010 [8 favorites]


but I wonder if he wanted to try.

Oh, considering how excited he got about it, definitely. It's designed for kids though so I think Obama's too tall for it.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 5:53 PM on May 15, 2010


Can he make old people stop watching Fox News, though?
posted by hal_c_on at 5:54 PM on May 15, 2010


He was obviously worried about having a Dukakis moment

Just 3 seconds of that footage would have kept a Fox News headline editor in hookers 'n blow for a year.
posted by hal9k at 5:56 PM on May 15, 2010 [10 favorites]


Five bucks says there's a special OSHA form for getting injured on the job while using a toy hovercraft.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 5:58 PM on May 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Reporter: What's it for?
Obama: It's for FUN!

Really happy he got that right, pretty disappointed he had to.
posted by carsonb at 6:00 PM on May 15, 2010 [25 favorites]


Must we continue living under this socialist hoverocracy????
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 6:04 PM on May 15, 2010 [40 favorites]


Tagged: the president is a nerd

Aint that the truth…and I for one, love it.
posted by ShawnString at 6:06 PM on May 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


Mumble mumble something about floating voters mumble.

I should credit Mefite saturnine, who tweeted this, that's where I saw it.
posted by WPW at 6:06 PM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I expected more eels.
posted by b1tr0t at 6:10 PM on May 15, 2010 [13 favorites]


I don't see how this is at all related to Dukakis. Dukakis was trying to look like a tough guy, so he sat in a tank and looked like a doofus, during an election. President Obama was looking at a toy hovercraft. Looking like a regular guy having fun would make the sane portion of the electorate (an unfortunately-but-still-majority of around 60%) like him more.
posted by DU at 6:10 PM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Five bucks says there's a special OSHA form for getting injured on the job while using a toy hovercraft.

And the rocket launcher? If they had one, some son of a bitch would die.
posted by hal9k at 6:11 PM on May 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


Hey McFly, everybody knows hoverboards don't work over water.
posted by arto at 6:14 PM on May 15, 2010


When the POTUS says hover, you say HOW HIGH SIR!
posted by Cold Lurkey at 6:19 PM on May 15, 2010 [11 favorites]


You know, kidding around aside, it is kind of disturbing how cozy the White House press corps is with the guy they're supposed to be covering.
posted by indubitable at 6:20 PM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


My (toy) hovercraft is full of eels.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:21 PM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well, actually arto, only some people know hoverboards don't work on water.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:22 PM on May 15, 2010


I expected more eels.

Hey, he's just the president, and he's just one man. You can't expect him to cure all of society's eels.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:23 PM on May 15, 2010 [24 favorites]


You know, I like the guy a lot, I voted for him, but I can't help but wonder how this would have come off GWB had done it. "You there! Heh, yeah, small lady reporter! Ride this for my amusement! Look, a NYT reporter on a hoverboard."
posted by availablelight at 6:23 PM on May 15, 2010 [8 favorites]


Well, actually arto, only some people know hoverboards don't work on water.

That reminds me, before it got pulled from YT, there was another humorous White House clip from the previous administration. It was a real laff riot when Cheney asked a NYT reporter to come try the waterboard!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:26 PM on May 15, 2010 [9 favorites]


I am overwhelmed with irrational adoration. This is embarrassing.
posted by elizardbits at 6:30 PM on May 15, 2010


Barack Obama is your new hoverboard.
posted by wabbittwax at 6:30 PM on May 15, 2010 [12 favorites]


POTUS sittin' LOTUS
posted by hal9k at 6:36 PM on May 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


President Obama makes reporter sit on toy hovercraft.

Perfect encapsulation of modern-day journalism.
posted by dirigibleman at 6:41 PM on May 15, 2010 [7 favorites]


it IS nice to have a POTUS that has a sense of humor....

Predator drones...hahaha..."country of my birth"...hahaha...Nobel Peace Prize...LOL!!!
posted by thescientificmethhead at 6:42 PM on May 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


Our water main broke yesterday in our front yard. $197 later, the plumber fixed it. Not bad.

We spent a good 20 minutes sifting through our home warranty and our home owners' insurance to find out what our liability was.

Dude, we have a fucking section dedicated to hovercraft damage.

tl;dr: pray to god a hovercraft doesn't fucking crash into your house. that's all i'm sayin'.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 6:47 PM on May 15, 2010 [12 favorites]


I for one welcome our new hoverboards.
posted by bicyclefish at 6:48 PM on May 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


Bah. If these people were doing their damned jobs, I wouldn't begrudge them their bit of fun.

I feel about Mr. Obama exactly the same way I feel about a girlfriend who cheated on me repeatedly - I once loved looking at them but now I just feel sick and sad and betrayed.

And as for the New York Times... aren't we still fighting the war that their lying reporting at least partly brought us into? Didn't they promise to stop using anonymous sources(*) - and then continue to do so?

In a healthy democracy, there is a natural adversarial relationship between the media and politicians.

When Mr. Obama stops being war's biggest fan, stops turning the military budget up with each year, acts like he respect the rule of law (including prosecuting the people who ordered innocent men tortured to death!) and stops those vile drone attacks, then I'm willing to laugh with him.

But right now what I see is the betrayal of all our hopes, the face of the endless war of the US vs almost everyone else, and I really can't laugh at all.


(* - except for certain reasonable conditions which have almost never applied...)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 6:50 PM on May 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


That was kinda dumb. The last 15 seconds are funny though.
posted by cashman at 6:52 PM on May 15, 2010


Yeah, this is fun and games, how nice it is to laugh! Meanwhile I'm a college graduate who can't seem to land a better job than "data entry". So, fuck your hovercrafts, I want my country back, damnit! Plus I've been super pissed off ever since this week's episode of LOST.
posted by thescientificmethhead at 7:02 PM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


between the chewing out of the oil companies and this clip, i'm sort of in the love part of my love/hate relationship with him at the moment

serious question: What ARE they for? Are they supposed to hover in the air?
posted by angrycat at 7:06 PM on May 15, 2010


serious question: What ARE they for? Are they supposed to hover in the air?

You sit on them. You hover (ish). Someone pushes you. You float across the room.

Sounds like fun to me. What more do you think they need to do?

Anyway - thing looked just like a leaf blower on an oversized frisbee, anyone could make one easily.
posted by schwa at 7:09 PM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


For the sake of accuracy, if you listen carefully, the NYT reporter volunteered to try the thing. Yeah, Obama heckled the press corp for a volunteer, but she stepped up - and good for her, I would have too. Whee!
posted by DarlingBri at 7:14 PM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


arto: Hey McFly, everybody knows hoverboards don't work over water.

Glad no one mentioned that to the hovercraft that carried me over the Channel & back in 2000...

/I know, it's a joke.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:16 PM on May 15, 2010


serious question: What ARE they for?

It is possible and common to use devices like this to move, say, heavy machinery around a shop floor.

It is also possible to place a reporter on one and push it around, JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN.
posted by Ella Fynoe at 7:18 PM on May 15, 2010


the chewing out of the oil companies - you are easily pleased. He could hardly do less - even a President McCain would have had to have said something stern, or lose face.

The question is, will Mr. Obama do anything significant? Since he spoke out in favour of off-shore drilling a few weeks ago, and has yet to repudiate that, let alone propose anything substantive new, my answer is, "No." I'm prepare to be surprised, but so far all the surprises I've had from Mr. Obama have been absolutely and uniformly negative.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:20 PM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Actually my physics teacher in highschool built one of those. You just need a wooden board, a pump motor (like from a vacuum cleaner) and I guess some plastic bags or something. He brought it out and we got to ride it at the end of the year.
Well, actually arto, only some people know hoverboards don't work on water.
Actually these types of board would walk on water, but since it's electrical you might not want to get it wet.
Our president is awesome and funny.
Bush did that kind of thing all the time. It's hardly unusual. Lots of people said he was friendly and funny in person.
posted by delmoi at 7:21 PM on May 15, 2010


ScootyPuff Jr. Suuuuuuuckss...
posted by Navelgazer at 7:23 PM on May 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


That was awesome.
posted by rtha at 7:26 PM on May 15, 2010


In a healthy democracy, there is a natural adversarial relationship between the media and politicians.

There's also a natural comradery that forms between people who work together all the time, even if their job requirements make them professionally adversarial. Defense and prosecution lawyers go drinking together, etc. The whitehouse press corps can't be expected to all bear personal animosity against all the individual people in the government. You'd go crazy, or request a different post.

You can know that it's ultimately your job to hold the administration to task, and still goof around during light moments. Reporters are still human beings, and subject to the same complicated relationships we all have. Maybe some day we'll have our news served to us by a News-Tron 3000 Reportobot.

Anyway, I thought this was a delightful bit of silliness, which has been something of a rare commodity lately.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 7:55 PM on May 15, 2010 [19 favorites]


Actually these types of board would walk on water

Walking on water, not just for Jesus anymore.
posted by netbros at 8:26 PM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd be more impressed if the One rode this thing in the Gulf of Mexico.
posted by wallstreet1929 at 9:02 PM on May 15, 2010


You know, I like the guy a lot, I voted for him, but I can't help but wonder how this would have come off GWB had done it. "You there! Heh, yeah, small lady reporter! Ride this for my amusement! Look, a NYT reporter on a hoverboard."

Heheh...I suspect there would be a more negative reaction to Obama, too, if there were dozens of other episodes that showed he was an inconsiderate douchebag, the way there was with Dubya.

When we see clips of Obama flipping off the cameras or wiping his glasses on his press secretary's suit or wiping his hand on another president's shoulder, for example, then episodes like this with the hovercraft will take on a different tone.

RE the hovercraft, we have one of these in my lab, too. We bring it out for science outreach days, when busloads of 5th graders from around the city come visit us to take part in all kinds of science coolness. Obama is right: it's for fun!
posted by darkstar at 9:05 PM on May 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


Another reason being President sucks (besides posing for 10,000 pictures a day): you have to resist fun things that will make you look stupid and embarrass your country.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:25 PM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


lupus_yonderboy wrote: "I once loved looking at them but now I just feel sick and sad and betrayed."

While those of us with rational expectations merely laugh (at the fun Obama is capable of having, not you).
posted by wierdo at 10:35 PM on May 15, 2010 [7 favorites]


There's also a natural comradery that forms between people who work together all the time, even if their job requirements make them professionally adversarial. Defense and prosecution lawyers go drinking together, etc.
That would be all well and good if they were actually doing their job. But given the presses performance lately, I think we need a little bit of a probationary period.
posted by delmoi at 10:50 PM on May 15, 2010


When we see clips of Obama flipping off the cameras or wiping his glasses on his press secretary's suit or wiping his hand on another president's shoulder, for example, then episodes like this with the hovercraft will take on a different tone.
Defending G.W. Bush is the last thing I'd want to do, but I have to point out again that the press personally got along with Bush really well, he was warm and funny (in a stupid way, of course) in person, etc.

The examples you talked about were rare, but just got amplified around the liberal blogsphere along with everything else.
posted by delmoi at 10:53 PM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


In a healthy democracy, there is a natural adversarial relationship between the media and politicians.

In what democracy would this kind of lighthearted throwaway episode not have been covered by the mainstream media? Should the media accompanying him have turned off their cameras in protest?

My guess is that Obama and his administration have quite a lot of contempt for the press, much as Bush did, and it's not because they're too chummy with and obsequious toward him.

When Mr. Obama stops being war's biggest fan, stops turning the military budget up with each year, acts like he respect the rule of law (including prosecuting the people who ordered innocent men tortured to death!) and stops those vile drone attacks, then I'm willing to laugh with him.

Be prepared to have a very humorless 2-6 years.
posted by blucevalo at 11:01 PM on May 15, 2010


When Mr. Obama stops being war's biggest fan

He did not run on an anti-war platform. He was very clear about his intention to expand our military presence in Afghanistan. If you fooled yourself into thinking he was a crypto-pacifist "just sayin that to get elected", you have no one but yourself to blame for your disappointment. Sorry.

Obama is not my ideal President. My ideal President is so far to the left of what is even remotely acceptable in this country that even arguing that position is masturbatory.
posted by cj_ at 1:24 AM on May 16, 2010 [10 favorites]


No, if the President were *truly* a nerd, he would have said "LEV-I-TATE!" in Dalek voice.

Ah, hovercrafts. When I was in Grade Six, our end-of-year project was to create some sort of science-y thing and bring it in to show off. When my first attempt (a submarine I tried to put together based on my memory of an episode of Beakman's World...bad plan) failed, I decided to go for a simpler Beakman project and make a hovercraft out of a record, a spool of thread and a balloon, which skimmed nicely over the surface of the kitchen counter at home. When I brought it in, there was the inevitable "oh what's this?" grab from another kid, which promptly broke off the spool of thread, which meant I had to glue it back on and hope it set before the end of the period. My turn came and it looked like the spool was going to hold. So I inflated the balloon, stretched it over the top of the spool, and watched as nothing happened. Panicked, I did it again. Finally, on my third try, I watched the levitation...of the spool of thread, which detached from the record and launched itself across the room, slamming into the cupboards. As a straight-A kind of kid, I should have been horrified, but it instead became the funniest thing I'd ever seen. And hey, instead of mere hovering, I'd created flight!

I still had a Beakman cake for my birthday that year. And hovercrafts will always have a special place in my sixth-grade heart.
posted by ilana at 2:20 AM on May 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


A hundred years ago here in backward Alabama, if a Black man had gently coerced a white woman to ride a hovercraft.... Well, you've all read To Kill a Mockingbird, right?
posted by loosemouth at 3:39 AM on May 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Looking forward to the day when the President slams Bill Kristol into the Potomac during a game of White House air hockey.
posted by markkraft at 4:45 AM on May 16, 2010


They're all the same: with Obama it's air-boarding, with Bush it was waterboarding.
posted by Phanx at 7:20 AM on May 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


A hundred years ago here in backward Alabama, if a Black man had gently coerced a white woman to ride a hovercraft
More like fifty years or less.

posted by kirkaracha at 7:41 AM on May 16, 2010


"You know, kidding around aside, it is kind of disturbing how cozy the White House press corps is with the guy they're supposed to be covering."

Actually, I wouldn't say that the White House has a very cozy relationship with the press corps. At least not recently.
posted by futz at 8:43 AM on May 16, 2010


it's a pity there weren't any students around at the time - that way, he could put them on a few of those, have them hold hands and hoverlink a plate of teens
posted by pyramid termite at 9:09 AM on May 16, 2010 [8 favorites]


You know, I like the guy a lot, I voted for him, but I can't help but wonder how this would have come off GWB had done it. "You there! Heh, yeah, small lady reporter! Ride this for my amusement! Look, a NYT reporter on a hoverboard."

Its all in the motivation. Bush had that humiliate people sense of humor. Obama just wants to have fun.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:55 AM on May 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


If the POTUS asks you to sit on this, you say "YES!"

..unless it's Clinton.
posted by slickvaguely at 9:59 AM on May 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


slickvaguely wrote: "..unless it's Clinton."

Oh, you still say yes, you just might not be consciously aware of that decision. See Family Guy Season 5, Episode 13 for more information.
posted by wierdo at 1:12 PM on May 16, 2010


You mean especially if it's Clinton!
posted by Xoebe at 1:13 PM on May 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Bush definitely got off making other people feel small, whereas Obama just seems here like he's having a good time.

For all the people who "just wanted to have a beer with Bush," I really just wanted to take a leak on his leg. He was so clearly an asshole who really enjoyed being POTUS bc he thought it made him better than everyone else in the room. Every time I hear his voice or see his sneering dickface mug I feel my heart beat faster....each day since the end of his reign is one day more I find it easier to smile.

I voted for Obama, and find myself hurting to really like him. Like the above commenter, I think that there's no lefty presidential possibility that would be lefty enough for me. Obama is a center-right politician, but in this country people call him a liberal.

This video, tho, makes me like him, both bc he was so well aware of the Dukakis potential if he sat on it, and also bc he clearly got a kick out of picking someone out of the press pool while enjoying the whole situation on a bunch of different levels, all without making the person feel like they're the butt of the joke, which Bush could do while asking for a glass of water.
posted by nevercalm at 2:12 PM on May 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I helped the students in our physics department build one of these. It's loud - that's a battery powered leaf blower shoving the air, and oughta be outlawed. But if you get on and someone gives you a good push you can ride all the way down a very long hall, spinning around as you go.

Fortunately, and unlike the president, I get paid to look like an idiot.
posted by Killick at 2:18 PM on May 16, 2010


If I was president this is what I'd spend all my time doing.

I seriously discourage you from voting for me for any public office.
posted by grapesaresour at 5:07 PM on May 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


26When the reporters saw him walking on the air, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.

27But Barack immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."

28"Obama, if it's you," Cheryl replied, "tell me to come to you on the hovercraft."

29"Come," he said.

Then Cheryl got away from the other reporters, sat on the hovercraft so that she could hover around Obama. 30When she saw the wind, she was afraid and cried out, "Are you serious ?"

31Immediately Obama reached out his hand. "Come on," he said, "Let's go!"

32And after she hovered around a little bit, the wind died down. 33Then those who were in the room worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."
posted by yeti at 6:51 PM on May 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Tagged: the president is a nerd

It's about time.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:52 PM on May 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Love this.
posted by Splunge at 8:15 PM on May 16, 2010


When I was in college during the late nineties, I experienced the North American Hovercraft Rally on the Miami River in Troy, Ohio. This was a long weekend of hovercraft racing, exhibitions, demonstrations, and a workshop on designing and building lightweight hovercraft out of things like industrial fans, inner tubes, and plywood. I tagged along on the trip with my grandfather and one of his buddies - an elderly gentleman who was intent on purchasing a hovercraft for his vacation home in Florida.

We went to an all day workshop on designing and building lightweight hovercrafts and at the end of the day we all went out to the river for a demonstration of a homemade hovercraft in action.

Once we were all standing by the river, the guy conducting the workshop asked if anyone wanted to pilot the plywood and rubber contraption (containing fans powered by a 125cc motorcycle engine) - and my grandfather shoved me forward.

*Gulp*

I was given a quick run through of the controls and then climbed into the cockpit of the hovercraft - which consisted of a bench and a joystick with a throttle trigger. Someone pulled the cord to fire up the engine and the thing roared to life.

I don't think I've ever experienced such a lack of control in my entire life - I managed to aim the thing to a point about 50 yards out on the river, turn it around, and then aim it back onto land. The entire "flight" lasted under two minutes - I can promise you these were the longest two minutes of my life.

Apparently there are still hovercraft races held in Troy every June - and my grandfather still has the blueprints for a lightweight hovercraft in a drawer somewhere.
posted by cinemafiend at 9:12 PM on May 16, 2010


nevercalm, I totally agree, but please type "because" instead of "bc".

ty,
posted by cj_ at 2:27 AM on May 17, 2010


Another reason being President sucks (besides posing for 10,000 pictures a day): you have to resist fun things that will make you look stupid and embarrass your country.

Ummm just one small word to add to this as a case study.. BUSH, minus even doing the fun things really.
posted by Merlin The Happy Pig at 3:47 PM on May 17, 2010


"You know, kidding around aside, it is kind of disturbing how cozy the White House press corps is with the guy they're supposed to be covering."

I don't have a problem with that. If they're good enough to be a White House correspondent, they're probably consummate professionals. Reporters want stories, exclusives, tips... a relationship, really, and so does the White House. There's really no value for either party in being openly hostile.
posted by doublehappy at 4:52 PM on May 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


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