Yes, that is President Obama shaking hands with someone in a horse mask. No, that's nowhere near the weirdest thing the president has had to deal with over the past month.
He doesn't have reelection to worry about, and much of the political focus has moved to the midterm elections (and, as America groans collectively, to the 2016 race). So what's a president to do?
Obama reacts as he is greeted by a man wearing a horse-head as he walked the streets of downtown Denver. pic.twitter.com/QNqnXKzwzm— Doug Mills (@dougmillsnyt) July 9, 2014
Well, if you're Obama, you get out there, play some pool and interact with the strange people America has to offer, all while Republicans across the country use you to gain right-wing cred.
The attacks: Let's start with Sarah Palin, who called for Obama to be impeached because of his lax border security (even though he has kicked out a record number of undocumented immigrants, causing some on the other side of the issue to call him the "deporter in chief"). "His unsecured border crisis is the last straw that makes the battered wife say, 'no mas,'" Palin writes, because nothing makes your point better than a domestic violence metaphor.
But that's just Sarah Palin, right? It's not like anyone with any real power is making ridiculous political attacks? Well, not quite. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is making plans to sue the president for circumventing Congress. If not for those executive actions, after all, Congress could be getting so much done!
In even pettier news, Texas governor and federal agency thought leader Rick Perry made it known that he won't be shaking Obama's hand when the president lands in Austin this week, instead "offer[ing] to meet with [him] at any time during [his] visit to Texas for a substantive meeting to discuss this critical issue." Because, as is American custom, one cannot make political discussion after shaking hands.
"You want a hit, man?" The headaches aren't just coming from other politicians. A float in a Nebraska Independence Day parade featured an outhouse marked "Obama Presidential Library." Meanwhile, even supposed supporters of the president are going off the rails, with this New York City newspaper calling him the N-word in a satirical headline. (Here's something to keep in mind: Satire can still be terrible and stupid.)
President Obama has a beer and shoots pool with Gov. Hickenlooper at the Wynkoop Brewing Company Bar. pic.twitter.com/UgDIUw6cc7— Doug Mills (@dougmillsnyt) July 9, 2014
Luckily, not everyone has been attacking the president. Horsehead guy up there seems pretty harmless, and folks seem happy at the numerous unscheduled stops he's been making at restaurants and the like.
Maybe when your opponents want to sue you and your supporters are calling you the N-word, it seems simple to get out, meet some new people and shoot a little pool. After all, maybe one of your new friends will have something to help you cope with all the stress.