Michael Jordan’s 50th Birthday Present To Barack Obama Was A Signed Poster Made Out To ‘Barrack’
There is no debating it. Michael Jordan is the greatest.
Not at spelling.
Barack Obama found that out the hard way, when His Airness tried to give him an autographed poster as a 50th birthday present.
In a New York Magazine profile of David Axelrod, the president’s former chief strategist relates the tale:
Axelrod stuffs his hands in the pockets of his blazer and walks the short block back to the Institute of Politics. Inside, the floors are covered in the salt stains of a hundred student boots. The institute, which hosts an impressive slate of speakers from both parties, including, in April, Mitt Romney, is something of an ad hoc museum, filled with Axelrod’s collection of American political artifacts. In the front hall is a glass-encased ballot box from the Florida 2000 presidential election. There’s also a napkin signed by JFK, a letter from the newly elected Abraham Lincoln to the Chicago mayor’s son, and a signed poster of Michael Jordan. “When the president turned 50, I wanted to get him something special … so I sent it to Jordan to have him sign it for me.” In black Sharpie, Jordan scrawled, “To Barrack: you still owe me dinner. Wishing you well, Michael Jordan.”
“I gave it to the president, and he said, ‘I can’t put this up, he misspelled my name!’ So I said, ‘Fine, I’ll take it.’ ” His own office is a special exhibit dedicated to his time in politics — a program from a State of the Union speech, a ticket to the Nobel Prize ceremony, an invite to Obama’s swearing-in as senator, with the words HERE BECAUSE OF YOU! written in the president’s script.
Alright, probably not the worst error in the world. But still. This was in 2011, the third year Obama’s presidency. Surely Jordan had seen his buddy’s name written out a few times before then.
This is the spot where a lesser person would compare this blunder to Jordan’s restaurant or NBA team management — but not me. I refuse to stoop that low.
If sales of Axelrod’s new book plummet, he can always pawn this one-of-a-kind item. Seems like there would be a tremendous market for it.
[H/T: New York Magazine]