June 29th, 2008
12:15 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama forced to flash ID

Sen. Barack Obama had to show his identification at the gym.

Sen. Barack Obama had to show his identification at the gym.

(CNN) - He may be running for the most powerful job in the world, but Sen. Barack Obama still has to flash his gym ID like the rest of us.

Wanting to get a quick treadmill session in before his first public event with Sen. Hillary Clinton Friday morning, the Illinois senator headed to the newly-opened Washington Sports Club in the Columbia Heights neighborhood.

But the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee did not get far when he and his entourage of Secret Service agents tried to walk past the front desk without stopping, according to the gym's general manager, Gonzalo Perez-Tamayo.

Perez-Tamayo told CNN the club trains its employees to adopt a strict policy of asking every member for his or her gym ID upon entry, even if they happen to be seeking the Oval Office.

The employee manning the front desk at the time, Takehia Wheeler, immediately stopped Obama as he was breezing past.

"It's always a rush in the morning, everyone's trying to come in quickly," Perez-Tamayo said. "She asked him for his last name and he said 'Obama,' then she asked him for his first name."

"It was very funny, she then realized who he was and said, 'Oh I am so sorry!" Perez-Tamayo added.

For the record, Obama is a member at the Washington Sports Club gym network.

The Illinois senator did not appear frustrated by the inconvenience, Perez-Tamayo also said, but he probably realized he needs to get a gym card if he wants to avoid the mix up in the future.

"If he doesn't want to get stopped he needs a card," Perez-Tamayo said. "It's the same for everybody."

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (363 Responses)
  1. Emma, San Jose, CA

    Obama – Always a gentleman. Who else could be friendly toward the female opponent who slammed him at every turn. That is why she lost the nomination and he won.

    June 29, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  2. Shannon

    he should wear his fake presidential seal on a lapel pin, maybe people would recognize him then. His arrogance knows no bounds, and his elitism shows in everything he does, no matter how hard he tries to hide it. He makes me so ashamed of my party, that I am no longer a Democrat. It's anyone but Obama for me, the only way he can win is to smear his opponent with the help of the press. He labeled a great woman a racist, and now is forcing her to help him win. She has no choice, they are already floating the story that if he loses it will be her fault. Fast Eddy is responsible for nothing!

    June 29, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  3. Linda31

    Why was this ticker reopened? Cute story, but the ones that really foster discussion are always close after 80or so comments.

    June 29, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  4. Big Thinker

    That lady better learn how to recognize real change when it is in her face!!!!

    Obama/Clinton 08

    June 29, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. Moz

    It's ok. No need to dramatize and get into bitter words against Obama for nothing, The lady did her job; and I haven't read that Obama tried to push things badly. Humility is as a sign of maturity is in him. I'm sure that he dealt with this simply fine. It's ok.

    June 29, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  6. Still waiting for an answer

    Who is Barack Obama?

    June 29, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. Cynthia

    All of you Republicans and pretend to be Hilliary supporters (Republicans) need to get a life.

    June 29, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  8. mike obama

    Does he list his full name in his ID or is he ashamed of his middle name. He admonished democrats not to take his middle name because he is ashamed of his muslim roots. He was also ashamed to have two muslim women wearing scarf on his dias for phor-op for he will be labelled a muslim. Are you ashamed of muslim community who gave you stong religious fundamental values when you were growing up with your ste-father in Indonesia. You also altered your bio-ad by telling that you were raised by your white grandparents in Kansas and forgot to mention your early childhood upbringing. You can fool the naive college kind and some gullible folks once not all the time.

    June 29, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  9. Linda iowa

    Why the dissing on this employee just doing her job. Obama supporters should take a cue from him and stop being nasty. Racial profiling, Pleeeze!!!!!! Enough, I am so sick of everything that happens being racist, it is not.

    June 29, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  10. John Corboy

    Obama is not arrogant, he is a firm believer in the possbility of change for all people. Of course people are going to have argument to that, since change doesn't happen very often and most of us are afraid of it. The support of everybody working together towards important goals will influence change and it is possible. I notice so many postings on this website where people take this propanda they see on tv and let it morph their own beliefs, values and opinions. I am not going to let that happen to me, I really hope we elect a president who wants to try things differently, and who is open minded enough to take a peaceful approach with world issues over violence.

    June 29, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  11. matt

    obama probably just kept quiet and played all nice and then after he left the gym that day his crew from the magnolia projects in new orleans came in and everyone got dealt with

    June 29, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  12. Make Love Not War


    anti-Obama bloggers= Republicans
    if not Hillary, then McCain=Republicans posing as Democrats

    OBAMA 2008/2012

    June 29, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  13. Caycee, Pearl City Hawaii

    Looks like Obama still has campaign work to do.

    June 29, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
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