By Judy Kurtz - 07/18/11 11:13 PM EDT
With debt-ceiling deadlines filling his head, President Obama might be having a tough time keeping track of his personal milestones.
At a Friday press conference, while answering a reporter’s question about whether he would change the retirement age, Obama said, “I’m going to be turning 50 in a week. So I’m starting to think a little bit more about Medicare eligibility. [Laughter] Yes, I’m going to get my AARP card soon — and the discounts.”
So it seems President Obama will have to wait a little longer for those perks he mentioned, which, according to the AARP website, include: 10 percent off at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., a 20 percent savings on digital hearing aids (in case political shouting matches take their toll) and nearly 50 percent off popcorn and a soda at Regal movie theaters.
Kevin Donnellan, AARP’s executive vice president, tells ITK the organization is happy to welcome the leader of the free world to the mature club: “We believe AARP has a lot to offer boomers and other older Americans, so we understand why the president looks forward to joining.”
It’s not the first time the president has made a birthday blunder. Last month, he prematurely declared to reporters that his oldest daughter, Malia, was a teenager before she actually, well, was one. During a White House press conference, Obama told journos, “Malia’s 13, Sasha’s 10.” The president went on to say, “They’re not pulling all-nighters. They’re 13 and 10.” Malia was still 12 at the time, not 13 (although she was days away from her birthday).
And this might not be the last of the president having a bit of calendar confusion. Just because he’s entering his golden years doesn’t mean he’s catching a break from partisan politics. Even the AARP couldn’t resist pressing for some political action in its statement about the president joining its ranks, writing, “We hope he will welcome our birthday gift to him and Americans of all ages — the protection of Social Security and Medicare from those who would make cuts to Americans’ hard-earned benefits in the current deficit-reduction debate.”
Perhaps the public should be prepared for more birthday boo-boos from Obama. Guess time flies when you’re (not) having fun debating the debt.