President Obama and the first lady may have been watching the best basketball players in the world Monday night, but the athletes weren’t the only ones doing the blocking.
The Obamas, along with Vice President Joe Biden, attended the USA-Brazil basketball exhibition game at the Verizon Center.
Michelle Obama seemed visibly perturbed when the stadium’s cameras point in the first couple’s direction with the words “Kiss Cam” emblazoned on the building’s Jumbotron.
And instead of smooching, Michelle denied her husband the chance for some action. As the audience’s anticipatory volume continued to rise, the first lady simply shook her head “no” to any chance at a PDA with the president.
The crowd booed as the game resumed play without so much as a presidential peck.
Later in the game, the stadium camera operators made a second attempt with the kiss cam, and the president didn’t give the first lady a chance to protest before rushing in for a 2-second lip lock.
Team USA beat Brazil 80-69 with Lebron James knocking down 30 points.
According to the in-town pool report, the press pool left the Verizon Center after Michelle denied Barack’s kiss near the end of the second quarter.
The pool was already in the motorcade before they were hurried back in for the fourth quarter.
The cameras turned on the couple yet again and the president kissed his wife igniting cheers from the crowd.
So why did it take two attempts?
The White House claims the Obamas had no idea they were on the original “Kiss Cam.”
White House spokesman Josh Earnest told the press Tuesday that “[d]uring the first half, they were sitting in the stands, noticed that their images were on the large screen, smiled, did not recognize that their images were on the screen in conjunction with the Kiss Cam.”
“So it was not until halftime,” Earnest claimed, “when the President and First Lady saw their daughters and their daughters asked them why they didn’t kiss during the Kiss Cam segment.”
The explanation is hard to reconcile with the footage, which shows that Biden leaned in and called the couple’s attention to the Jumbotron.
Michelle then visibly shook her head “no” and avoided looking back up at the screen.
Regardless, it seems the White House wasn’t comfortable with the first couple forgoing a crowd-pleasing kiss, especially during an election season.
So they gave it a second try.