Shooting from the lip, has Obama hit himself in foot?
BARACK Obama, pictured, has a well-documented history of shooting but, until now, it has involved "hoops" with his basketball buddies, the odd frame of pool and a round of golf.
So when Mr Obama added clay-pigeon shooting to that list in an attempt to reassure America's gun lobby, there were those who wondered if the president might be trying too hard.
One Republican politician even challenged him to a shoot-out.
"Up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time," Mr Obama had told The New Republic magazine, adding that he had "a profound respect for the traditions of hunting". Coming from a president who once mocked small-town Americans for their attachment to "God and guns", the remarks were met with a mixture of surprise and disbelief as the debate continued over gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shootings.
Marsha Blackburn, a Republican congresswoman from Tennessee, asked why, if Mr Obama was such a keen shot, it had not been made public before.
"If he is a skeet shooter, why have we not heard of this? Why have we not seen photos?" Mrs Blackburn said. "I'll go skeet shooting with him and I bet I'll beat him."The US media soon fired the same questions at Jay Carney, the president's press secretary. Mr Carney admitted there were no photographs, adding hurriedly: "Because when he goes to Camp David, he goes to spend time with his family and friends and relax, not to produce photographs."
In a seaparate developement John Kerry won confirmation from his fellow US senators as secretary of state, succeeding Hillary Clinton as the top U.S. diplomat. The Senate vote for Mr Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, was 94-3. (© Daily Telegraph, London)