About an hour into a flight from Washington to Portland last night, Obama walked to the press section of the plane and announced he was ready to play. A favorite of the Obama press corps, the charades-like game forces players to describe the word given to them on a card without using certain key terms. If the player accidentally uses one of the forbidden – "taboo" – words, the opposing team "buzzes" them with a plastic buzzer.
Obama dove right in – throwing out words, hi-fiving his staffers. Casually leaning on the plane's arm rests, he taunted the press corps – his competition – and warned me that buzzing him meant "no access" while covering him. I buzzed him twice.
One Obama staffer pulled the word "gap," and his clue to the team was: "where gay people get their clothes." Several people called out store names, with Obama chiming in with "Abercrombie and Fitch."
The lighthearted game was also filled with campaign references. To guess the "White House," a reporter said "it's where Barack wants to live," to which she quickly added "I mean Senator." To lead teammates to the name "George Bush," a player said it was the job he wanted. When describing the word "California," one reporter said it was where the senator made his now notorious "bitter comments." Obama joked that he didn't come back here to "drag back to painful memories," but a quick glance to a staffer said he didn't like where this was going.
While the energetic press corps team gave a valiant effort, both games were won by Obama campaign. A rematch was promised as the victorious staffers walked to the front of the plane, leaving reporters to blog and practice.