President Obama's 2008 Altoona Gutter Ball

President Obama's 2008 Altoona Gutter Ball

Bowlers in Altoona remember when then candidate Obama stopped by an Altoona bowling alley in 2008.

ALTOONA, BLAIR COUNTY - It was the gutter ball seen across the country.

During the 2008 democratic primary race for President, then-candidate Barack Obama was pulling out all the stops to beat Hillary Clinton for the democratic nomination.

That included a less-than stellar bowling performance at the Pleasant Valley Recreational Center in Altoona.

Altoona resident Roxanne Hart was delivering a hair-clip to her daughter who worked at the bowling alley snack bar and she was surprised to learn Obama would be there.

"I asked him if he wanted to bowl a game," she said. "He needed some practice and I gave him a few tips."

Hart said she was excited to help Obama with his bowling, and ended up voting for him in 2008, but currently describes herself as an undecided voter in 2012.

"If he comes back this way again, I'd like to have a rematch with him," she said. "I haven't been bowling in a while."

Many in Altoona felt the President's bowling left something to be desired. 

"Oh he bowled atrociously," laughed William Frank, an Altoona resident and democrat.

Frank, like many Pennsylvanians, voted for Hillary Clinton in the primary, but voted for President Obama in the general election.

He plans on supporting President Obama again in the November election.

"I think he's doing a very good job," Frank said. "Let's face it, he inherited a mess, so we're going in a right direction."

One of his bowling friends, Duayne Barrett, is no fan of the President's policies.

"It's terrible," he said. "We're going in the wrong direction."

A co-owner of the bowling alley, Bob DiVentura who originally allowed Obama to campaign there, says he's disappointed with the economy under Obama.

"I voted for him in 2008," DiVentura said. "But I'm voting for Romney this time around."

DiVentura's cousin, Jamie Walby , also a worker at the bowling alley, sees things differently.

"Given the circumstances I think he's doing very well," Walby said. "I think it's only going to get better, and I'm going to vote for him again."

Regardless of politics, almost everyone at the bowling alley agreed on one thing, the President's bowling game could use some work.

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