White House Photo Shows Obama Shooting Skeet

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Feb. 2 2013 11:18 AM

Here's Proof President Obama Has Fired a Gun at Least Once

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President Obama shooting clay targets at Camp David on Aug. 4, 2012

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

And it has come to this. Barely a week after President Obama first surprised Washington insiders by saying in an interview with the New Republic that he goes “skeet shooting all the time” at Camp David, the White House seemingly gave in to skeptics and released photographic evidence to prove the president wasn't lying. Obama had never talked about his skeet shooting hobby before so many were quick to mock the president’s claims as a transparent effort to pander to gun owners, notes the New York Times.

When reporters first asked White House spokesman Jay Carney for photographic evidence of Obama’s skeet shooting prowess, he said none would be forthcoming. “When he goes to Camp David, he goes to spend time with his family and friends and relax, not to produce photographs,” Carney told reporters. Yet that didn’t seem to satisfy anyone and even the Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” column got in on the debate, openly doubting whether Obama’s claim was true, calling it “curious” that the White House had refused to release any evidence that could put the mini controversy to rest. “We live in suspicious times and the president lives in a media fishbowl,” the Post’s Glen Kessler wrote. “That’s the way it is.”

Now the evidence that the president goes skeet shooting is out. But that doesn’t mean doubters will be satisfied. As Politico points out, “it may do little to squelch the questions about exactly how often” the president goes skeet shooting.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.