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October 20, 2015

Obama Greets Clock Bomb Kid at White House

But Ahmed didn’t bring the clock.

It almost didn’t happen. On Monday, the White House announced that Barack Obama might not have time to meet with Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old Texan who was arrested for making a clock that resembled a bomb. “I don’t believe that the president will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with Ahmed Mohamed,” Obama spokesman Josh Earnest said ahead of the meeting. Ahmed was invited to attend Astronomy Night at the White House Oct. 19 along with several hundred other guests. It might have been political cover to mitigate the chief executive’s invitation after the news first broke about the incident at MacArthur High School. “Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House?” Obama tweeted Sept. 16. “We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great.” That was before Ahmed got a tableful of Microsoft products and met with Omar al-Bashir, the president of Sudan who is wanted by the international criminal court for genocide. The kid and his father knew what they were doing from the beginning — not making a clock but a scene to prove “Islamophobia.” Indeed, Ahmed said, “I’m pretty sure if I was a Caucasian male I wouldn’t have got arrested. … Pretty sure I would’ve been awarded the smartest kid in class if I was a Caucasian male.”

Ahmed’s father is politically active and ran for office in Sudan a number of times, and the photo-op with Bashir was Ahmed’s 15 minutes of fame. The optics of an Obama-Ahmed visit didn’t look as good for Obama, though he did personally greet the boy Monday night. But Ahmed didn’t bring the clock. Pity, because it would have been very, very interesting if the Secret Service didn’t let it pass through security.

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