Appearing at an Olympic exhibition basketball game between the United States and Brazil in Washington on Monday night, President Barack Obama was loudly booed when he failed to kiss First Lady Michelle Obama when the couple appeared on the "kiss cam."
In what has been dubbed "Smoochgate" (OK, only by this reporter), the president and his wife initially failed to heed the unspoken rule of the kiss cam, those ubiquitous roving eyes that zoom in on couples at sporting events and project them on the scoreboard jumbotron as they lock lips. Celebrities and the elderly are favorite targets, and once in the spotlight, you'd better pucker up or else...
The most powerful man in the world found out what "or else" is last night when he and Michelle found themselves on that big screen at kiss time. Obama smiled, but did not kiss his wife, or according to other reports, she rebuffed him. Their snubbing of the kiss cam gods drew a loud, sustained BOO from the thousands gathered at the Verizon Center to watch the Olympic warmup match, which Brazil dominated in the early going.
It turns out that the Obamas were unaware that they were on the kiss cam, or so the White House claims.
"They didn't know about the kiss cam until halftime, when they first saw their daughters Malia and Sasha, who asked why they didn't kiss for the cameras," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Tuesday morning.
When the kiss cam once again targeted the First Couple in an uncharacteristic fourth quarter reprise, Obama was ready this time. He redeemed himself with a perfectly presidential kiss on the lips, with a peck on the forehead for good measure. Uproarious applause and chants of "FOUR MORE YEARS" followed, Team USA emerged victorious, coming from behind and beating the Brazilians 80-69 on 30 points from LeBron James, and all was well in Washington for a fleeting moment.