Obama Gets Carded Before He Pumps Some Iron at the Gym

By Jennifer Parker

Jun 27, 2008 5:07pm

ABC News’ Karen Travers Reports: Sen. Barack Obama’s face graces the cover of the current issue of Rolling Stone magazine. Turn on cable news at any point during the day and he is bound to show up before the next commercial break. He travels with a security entourage and a press corps following his every movement.

But that does not mean he can sneak past the front desk at the gym without showing ID.

This morning around 7:35 AM, Obama tried to slip into the Washington Sports Club in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington D.C for a quick workout, as first reported by The Hill. The senator had a 9:30 AM flight to New Hampshire for his event with Sen. Hillary Clinton

Obama came in with a few Secret Service agents and walked past the front desk, but he did not get far. Obama was stopped by Washington Sports Club employee Takehia Wheeler, who did what she would do to any member coming into the gym: She asked him for ID.

Wheeler then asked his last name in order to look up his membership, according to Washington Sports Club General Manager Gonzalo Perez. “He said ‘Obama’ and she said, ‘And your first name is…?”

When he said “Barack,” Wheeler looked up, realized who it was and quickly apologized, Perez told ABC News.

Perez noted that all of his employees are trained to ask for ID or a first and last name in order to look up club members in their computer database, so Wheeler was just doing her job. He said the front desk employee was distracted with people coming into the club and did not recognize Obama in his workout clothes.

Obama was okay with the request for ID and said it was not a problem, Perez said.

This was Obama’s first time at this particular Washington D.C. gym, which has only been open for about a month. When he is in town, he usually goes to the Washington Sports Club on Capitol Hill.

The presumptive Democratic nominee’s workout lasted only about 20 minutes, Perez said. He put in some time on the treadmill and did some arm curls with weights before heading to Washington’s Reagan National Airport.

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