When Obama got bugged

Don’t you wish sometimes you were a fly on a wall in the White House? One brazen little insect did one better on Thursday, landing on the forehead of US President Obama as he announced his nominees to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The normally stoic commander-in-chief appeared visibly distracted with the bothersome bug buzzing around him. At one point, Obama even noted, “This guy’s bothering me here.” This was not the newly re-elected president’s first encounter with pesky pests.

US President Barack Obama tried to brush away the house fly while he was nominating former US attorney Mary Jo White to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission at the White House. Pic/AFP

In 2008, Obama was flipping burgers on a grill for a photo-op while campaigning in Iowa when he was swarmed by flies. But the most memorable insect-related moment in his presidency to date came in 2009, when Obama killed a fly during an interview at the White House.

“Get out of here,” Obama said as the fly buzzed him during his interview. The pest persisted, and when it landed on his left forearm, Obama smacked it. “Now, where were we?” the president said without missing a beat. Pleased with himself, he added, “That was pretty impressive, wasn’t it? I got the sucker.”

Several observers in the room gave congratulatory shout-outs. Obama pointed to the floor and instructed an obliging cameraman to get a close-up of the tiny corpse. “It’s like he’s got one of those fly Terminator targeting systems in his eyes,” said an awed Jon Stewart on The Daily Show.

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