Mass. woman puts end to Obama game at fair
ALLENTOWN, Pa. — The head of an eastern Pennsylvania amusement company has yanked a carnival game in which players shot foam darts at an image resembling President Obama.
Irvin Good Jr. pulled the target-shooting game after receiving a complaint from a Massachusetts woman attending a fair in Roseto, about 65 miles north of Philadelphia. Good said yesterday that his company, Hellertown-based Goodtime Amusements, will not offer the game again.
“It was just a big, big mistake in judgment, and I feel sorry about it,’’ he said. “I can’t take it back, but I can try to make it better.’’
The game, dubbed “Alien Attack,’’ featured a large painted image of a black man wearing a belt buckle with the presidential seal and holding a scroll labeled “Health Bill.’’ Players could win prizes such as stuffed animals by hitting targets on the image’s head and heart.
The game was featured in late July at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Big Time Celebration, an annual fair that raises money for the Roman Catholic parish in Roseto.
Kathryn Chapman, 55, of Medford, Mass., who spent part of her childhood in Roseto and was in town for a family reunion, spotted the game and complained to Good.
“What is the message you are sending kids, that if your views don’t agree with somebody else’s, shoot them? I just found it incredibly disrespectful and violent,’’ Chapman said yesterday. “And this was the president, the highest office in the country. It was absolutely appalling.’’
Good said that he voted for Obama and that the game was not meant to encourage violence. He said the image was conceived and painted by a staffer.
“He just drew it up, and that’s the way it came out,’’ Good said. “We didn’t talk about it being political.’’
Michelle Obama has taken their youngest daughter, Sasha, to Spain. Their other daughter, Malia, is away at summer camp.
Obama has not shied away from talking about his birthday, noting that his hair is getting grayer and his metabolism is slowing down as another year passes. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs says that while the presidency comes with enormous physical and mental strain, Obama “greatly enjoys’’ the job.
Obama headed home to Chicago for a birthday celebration dinner last evening with friends. He will spend the night in his own house.
Earlier, during remarks at a meeting of the AFL-CIO’s governing executive council, Obama joked that he was disappointed that there was no cake.
“I’m going to have to talk to Secret Service,’’ Obama said. Then, casting a glance toward the agents, he said teasingly, “They’re probably eating it right now.’’
Meanwhile, the president’s birthday — though a year shy of the big 5-0 milestone — is being used in this election year as a prime fund-raising opportunity for Democratic candidates and party organizations.
Obama will tour an auto plant today in Chicago and attend Democratic fund-raisers before returning to Washington.
In an interview for the September issue of Ladies’ Home Journal, Mrs. Obama said she recently was “on a sort of cleanse’’ in which she was just eating vegetables. The first lady, who is on a campaign against childhood obesity, also says she never talks about weight with her daughters because the topic is too sensitive, and that she made the girls take up tennis under protest.
“I have them do a sport that they like and a sport that I like,’’ she said. “I want them to understand what it feels like to do something you don’t like and to improve. Because in life you don’t always get to do the things you want.’’
Daughters Sasha and Malia resisted tennis at first, she says, “but now they’re starting to get better and they actually like it. And I’m like, ‘Mom was right!’ ’’
Michelle Obama also made a point to show she is human when it comes to diet and exercise: She said there are days when she skips her typical 4:30 a.m. workout and that on a recent weekend in Chicago she “ate everything that was available. In fact, we had a take-out food-fest.’’
And, she cannot stand beets.
“Neither the president nor I have the beet gene.’’
She does not give a lot of detail about her cleanses, saying that she might do one for two days but that “it isn’t a way of life because I like food too much.’’
Her cleanse involves eating as many fruits and vegetables as possible and cutting out fats, oil, dairy, meat, caffeine, sugar, and starch for a short period of time, according to the White House.