Captured on a cell phone camera, the incident went viral in no time, migrating from social media to the national media by Monday morning.
In an afternoon news conference, the fair's top official, Fair Director Mark Wolfe, apologized and said the rodeo clown would be permanently banned from working the fair. He said the performance didn't reflect the fair's -- or the state's -- values.
“I think if someone was sitting in the stands and cheered for that they ought to be embarrassed too,” Wolfe said.
His statement was an attitude not matched among fairgoers 41 Action News spoke to today
“I thought it was funny,” one said. “We used to still have free speech in this county,” another said.
And while making fun of elected officials is as American as a day at the fair, some who study the presidency worry the tenor of some of the attacks on the first African American president are different. "One of the things the president has had to deal with during his tenure in office is the undertone of racism and that was also depicted in that particular scenario," University of Central Missouri Political Science Department Chairman Jim Staab said.