Obama Streaker May Not Pocket Million Bucks, After All

Tuesday, 12 Oct 2010 02:02 PM

By Mike Tighe

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The Obama streaker obviously didn’t have pockets, but he may not have won the million bucks he was trying to pocket for baring all, anyway. And even though police didn’t throw the book at 24-year-old Juan Rodriguez for sporting only his birthday suit as he ran through the crowd at a Philadelphia event where President Barack Obama was speaking Sunday, somebody else in the audience did toss a book — at the president. All in all, just another sunny day in Philadelphia.

Obama, streaker, Philadelphia, book, thrownRodriguez, who was released on bail after being charged with indecent exposure, open lewdness, and disorderly conduct, had his eye on the prize when he caused others to avert theirs (or stare in disbelief) with his dash for cash. British Internet billionaire Alki David had offered a $1 million bounty to anybody who streaked within eyeshot and earshot of Obama to advertize David’s website, according to the London Telegraph.

The only hitches: Said runner had to scrawl the name of David’s website, Battlecam.com, on his chest, and holler the site’s name six times, loud enough for Obama to hear it.

So, did he or didn’t he? The president, that is: Did Obama hear the streaker repeat the site’s name? It’s clear that New Yorker Rodriguez stripped down to streak, but it’s unclear whether Obama heard him bandy about Battlecam.com — or whether the White House would acknowledge it if he did.

The 42-year-old, deep-pocketed David is quoted in the Telegraph as saying: "We are delighted with Mr. Rodriguez. I am looking forward to presenting him with a big bag of cash. We are just waiting for confirmation that Obama did hear him and then we can hand over the money. I've nothing against Obama himself — it's just we knew this stunt would attract so much publicity if it was with the president."

Not so fast, though, because the streaker could run into a couple of hitches in his bare giddyup: David told the New York Daily News that one debate over the naked payday is whether the president heard the message.

David also told the Daily News that Pennsylvania law could block any payout. "Apparently, there is a law in Pennsylvania where someone isn't able to profit from an illegal act," the Daily News quotes David as saying.

David’s fledgling website has made a habit of creating outlandish contests to generate PR for itself. More than 100 folks picked up 1,500 bucks apiece for submitting to tattoos advertising the site, according to the Telegraph.

As for the book-tossing at the same event, it turns out the hurler was fully clothed and wasn’t ill-intentioned (like the Iraqi who threw a shoe at former President George W. Bush in protest in 2008). Rather, Sajid Ali Khan merely was trying to get the prez a copy of his paperback book, “Benefits of Wisdom,” the Secret Service discovered upon questioning him.

Perhaps one of the benefits of wisdom might be using a more conventional means of delivery. Khan contends he had the tacit approval of Vice President Joe Biden, because, he contends, the VP smiled and flashed a thumbs-up sign.

"He loved it," Khan told the Philadelphia Daily news. "If he approved it, how can it be a crime?"


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