If you have not yet seen the president of the United States without his shirt on, take some time to do so. Here he is in 2008. And here’s a shot of him earlier this year. Being able to glance (legally) at a shirtless POTUS is one of the many wonders of being alive in the year 2012.
Now, this is not true at all. Looking at the president not wearing a shirt is weird. Imagine Chester Arthur witho—OK, no, don’t do that. But imagine imagining that and you’ll understand the point without the visceral nightmare-shock. And that’s not a fair comparison because one: it was a different time, and two: (maybe also because it was a different time) President Obama is in way better shape.
Now, some have called the Obamas—there is a DVD called Totally Toned Arms: Get Michelle’s Arms in 21 Days—something similar to Stalin’s Soviet Union in their insistence on physical fitness among cabinet members and among Americans in general, especially children. And sure, dislike the President for the reasons you dislike him—like, drone strikes, secret-murders of American citizens, turning Pakistan into a living, robot-plane hell, or anything else that fits your personal purview—but criticizing him for stressing “health” among our society is pretty much the same thing as criticizing him for not punching every senior citizen in the face, one by one.
So, how often does POTUS work out?
"Most of my workouts have to come before my day starts. There's always a trade-off between sleep and working out. Usually I get in about 45 minutes, six days a week. I'll lift one day, do cardio the next.”
Is 45 minutes enough?
“I wish I was getting a 90-minute workout.”
But Libya, the Economy with a capital E, unemployment, JOBS, gas prices, China, and everything else—and JOBS. Why even work out?
"You have to exercise, or at some point you'll just break down."
Rumor has it—this has never actually been documented, I don’t believe—that the President is also an avid basketball enthusiast.
“My crossover is solid.”
Really? Even at 51 years old?
“What happens is, as I get older, the chances I’m going to play well go down. When I was 30 there was, like, a one-in-two chance. By the time I was 40 it was more like one in three or one in four.”
How often does he play?
“These days I probably play once every two to three weeks, not as often as I’d like.”
Don’t the people he plays with, you know, want him to have a good game since he’s the LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD or whatever?
“Nobody ever lets me win because if you let me win, you’ll never hear the end of it. I’ll talk a little trash about you. I’ll make you feel bad about yourself if we beat you real bad.”
How is he under pressure? And from long range?
“Somebody just handed me a ball and said, ‘Come on, Mr. President, take a shot.’ And I said, OK, and I shot it and swished it from the 3-point line. And the amount of excitement that those folks had was surprising to me.”
What about on the golf course? Everyone cheats at golf!
“I am very proud of the fact I do not cheat when I’m playing golf. Anybody who plays with me, they’ll say I count my strokes. I count my strokes. I don’t — I’m not getting five-foot gimme putts.”
Hm, OK. I wonder if he’s ever bowled before?
“You know, my bowling has greatly improved. Marv, you’re touching on a slightly sensitive point.”
Marv? I’m not Marv. What? That’s not who I am.
“You know what? That’s not who we [emphasis not his] are.”
Um, OK? Well, he must’ve played baseball, since it’s AMERICA’S pastime, and he’s the president of AMERICA.
“I am a big baseball fan. I didn’t play organized baseball.”
He’s a fan of the White Sox, I think, and not the Cubs. Why is that?
“I do think that there’s a different quality to what used to be Comniskey Field.”
What? Doesn’t he mean “Comiskey Field?” I'm pretty sure he threw out a first pitch there.
“It is about the most stressful thing.”
“It clears the plate but it’s not what you’d like. During practice, you’re throwing heat."
Speaking of heat, what’s the deal with the cigarettes?
“Have I fallen off the wagon sometimes? Yes.”
I wonder ho—
“Am I a daily smoker, a constant smoker? No.”