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Obama's Special Olympics Jest: Their Response

Via Fox News:

The following is an official statement from Special Olympics Chairman Timothy Shriver: President Obama called last night and expressed his regret and he apologized. He said that he did not intend to humiliate Special Olympics athletes or people with intellectual disabilities. He was sincere and heartfelt, and said that he is a fan of our movement and is ready to work with our athletes to make the United States a more accepting and welcoming country for all people with special needs. "

Words hurt and words matter. Words can cause pain and result in stereotypes that are unfair and damaging to people with intellectual disabilities. And using "Special Olympics" in a negative or derogatory context can be a humiliating put-down to people with special needs."

This is a teachable moment for our country. We are asking young people, parents and leaders from all walks of life to engage in conversation and help dispel negative caricatures about people with intellectual disabilities. We believe that it's only through open conversation and dialogue about how stereotypes can cause pain that we can begin to work together to create communities of acceptance and inclusion for all. "

Special Olympics is not a program, but a worldwide movement operating 30,000 events a year in more than 180 countries. Every one of them is a chance for people of all ages to get involved, to think differently about attitudes and perceptions they may have about people with intellectual disabilities, and to make a difference. "

And so we challenge people to join our "Spread the Word to End the Word" campaign, a youth-led national awareness effort that will launch on March 31, where we are asking people to pledge their respect for people with special needs. We're asking people to sign our "R-word" pledge, to join in our Unified Sports programs, to volunteer, and to be fans of our athletes and our movement."

Additionally, we challenge policy leaders at all levels to commit to improving the support and resources for people with intellectual disabilities in areas such as healthcare, education, housing and recreation. "

Finally, we invite the President to take the lead and consider hiring a Special Olympics athlete to work in the White House. In so doing, he could help end misperceptions about the talents and abilities of people with intellectual disabilities, and demonstrate their dignity and value to the world.

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Comments (11)

ed davis:

After his "just words" speech, I was surprised to see this story this morning.

Looks like the on the job training is working for the President. I hope he learns to apply the power of the spoken word to the best of his ability. He is a great motivational speaker. I tried to catch every one of his speeches. I sometimes found it hard to understand how wound up with a D next to his name. His life story (as presented in his speeches) says conservative to me. As an American, people have a chance to become ANYTHING they want to be. Even if you get mixed up and sidetracked a little while still in your youth.

Lee Ward:

Obama is a lot more conservative (shall we say "moderate") than his supporters want you to believe. I said so many times throughout the primaries, only to have the Obamatrons shout me down... but it's true.

At this stage, much of the "liberalness" of the Obama Administration's actions can - in my view - pretty much be explained away as Pelosi, Dodd, Emanuel at.al. getting their way.

Democrats sat in the dog house, abused by Republicans, for 8 long years... and many years prior to that if you recall the Clinton impeachment.

So they are getting their jollies now - and Papa Obama is letting them have their fun, and the moderate Obama will emerge as he gets down to the serious business of running the country and creating a consensus...

...assuming the immature Republican leadership ever decides they'd like to act like adults and sit at the big people table and participate. Right now Limbaugh and Boehner seem content to sit at the rickety folding table reserved for the twelve and unders and fling mashed potatoes at the adults.

That's fine, and it makes great theater, but if they want dessert they'd better shape up.

Paul Hooson:

Politicians seem to have a hard time telling good jokes without raising controversy. Just ask John Kerry about this. Better to leave the jokes to the professionals such as Gilbert Gottfried or Larry David.


lee, if the democrats had majorities in the senate, the house, or both, exactly how did the republicans "abuse" them?

as far as matureness, have you actually been paying attention to obama, pelosi, and reid or dodd, frank, murtha, etc? seriously, you call the shit they're pulling mature? what world do you live in for god's sake?

and obama conservative? i'd seriously like to see you back that up taking into account the actions he has taken as senator, candidate, and president.

Lee Ward:

"lee, if the democrats had majorities in the senate, the house, or both, exactly how did the republicans "abuse" them?"

By refusing to work in a bipartisan manner. And when bipartisanship finally did emerge, as with the SCHIP bipartisan bill that passed a year ago, Bush the Chimp would step in with his veto.

And Oh baby, now it's payback time. Pelosi and Reid are putting the screws to the Republican agenda big time. Not even inviting Blubbering Boehner to the party.

Major, major chunks of the Democratic agenda have been shoved down the throats of the squealing Republican'ts, and yes, the rich in America will pay the bill for it.

But it's a pendulum and the pendulum will swing back towards the middle again before too long. Obama isn't conservative, but his leadership style is that of a moderate consensus-builder. He bends towards the middle peace-making ground.

Many republicans can't see that because they have their heads firmly tucked between their butt cheeks and they have headphones on listening to Rush Limbaugh.

You're not one of those kind of repubbies, are you ke? The fact that you're a regular around here means you can actually think for yourself and aren't just another dittohead from the Michelle Malkin echo chamber next door. I have high hopes for you voting Democratic in the 2010 elections...


Hey Pud, am I still banned?


did you pay attention to politics prior to bush? do you know how the democrats treated republicans for the 40 years they had the house? seriously, go look at the way the democrats worked in the 80's or 90's if you want a true sense of marginalizing the minority party.

and yes bush did veto the SCHIP bill. does that mean that we can call clinton a partisan for some of his veto's or obama when he finally vetos something? opposing something is not the same as not being willing to work in a bi-partisan manner. or are you one of those democrats that think that bipartisan means doing what the democrats want?

and the democrats are harldy acting in a bipartisan manner now. they may say they are, but as i am sure you would agree, there is a big difference between words and actions.

and i have yet to see obama as a consensus builder. isn't he the guy who said "i won" when republicans objected to something he wanted to do? he made a big deal about "listening" to the republicans and then totally ignoring their input.

me vote democrat in 2010? not likely considering that i disagree with the democrat's fundamental view on the role of government. well that, and i have yet to meet a liberal democrat who also isn't a rude, insulting, hypocritical ass.


Al Sharpton has recently said that apologies are not enough. The offender must be fired to correct the offense. Then the country can go onto the path of healing its' wounds.

Doubting Thomas:

Twoplanker -

We can't fire Obama over this.


Does the thought of "President Biden" send a little chill down your spine?


Doubting Thomas, thank you for your wise words.
Perhaps glib or off-the-cuff remarks are not my strong suit. The words, "President Biden" certainly send a chill down my spine.
I shall endeavour to think through my posts more thoroughly in the future.

Doubting Thomas:

Not a problem, Twoplanker - I'll admit I'm rather underwhelmed myself when it comes to Obama's performance so far, to the point where I'm seriously wondering just how many more people he's going to be throwing under the bus to protect himself.

Lee thinks that Obama "isn't conservative, but his leadership style is that of a moderate consensus-builder. He bends towards the middle peace-making ground."

I don't see any indication that Obama's actually got a leadership style of that sort. I think it's been more a "get me into office and I'll rubber stamp whatever you bring me."

And I'm thinking Lee's doing what a lot of Obama supporters did during the election - they look at Obama's blank screen and project on to it what they wanted to see. If the things that are going on are from Pelosi and Reid and 'Obama's just letting them play' - then it would fit his 'leadership style'. He got elected, and they're doing what they want while he signs off on it.

Time will tell - but I don't think he'll be able to control them, I think THEY control HIM.

As far as glib remarks go - Keep on trying. The thing to do is sound them out and make sure they say what you WANT to say, as concisely as possible. I edited the 'President Biden' line about five times until it was right...


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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