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Before Obama's First Pitch, a Little Wind Up

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Updated 7:05 p.m.
By Michael D. Shear
President Obama has been making plenty of pitches to the American people and the Congress recently. But none may be as important as the one he makes tonight from the mound at the All-Star Game.

It will be Obama's first opening pitch as president and the kind of moment that television loves, if only for the possibility of a screw-up -- a wimpy throw or a wild pitch that goes awry. (Or, as happened to Obama during the campaign, a gutter ball.)

Asked about the pitch, Obama made it clear he's been thinking about it.

"Well, I think it's fair to say that I wanted to loosen up my arm a little bit," he told reporters after an Oval Office meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenede.

Obama's last pitch was during the American League Championship series in 2005, when he tossed the first ball to his beloved Chicago White Sox.

"You know, my general strategy, the last time I threw a pitch was at the American League Championship Series and I just wanted to keep it high," he said. "Now, there was no clock on it, I don't know how fast it went -- but if it exceeded 30 miles per hour, I'd be surprised.
But it did clear the plate."

The White Sox won that game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 3-2, and then went on to win every game for the rest of the season, winning the ALCS and the World Series. For weeks after that pitch, Obama liked to chide reporters about how his team didn't lose a game after he took the mound.

Before that, Obama's only pitching experience was throwing out the first pitch during a Kane County Cougars' game, according to White House officials.

Spokesman Tommy Vietor said the president plans to warm up before the pitch with St. Louis Cardinal slugger Albert Pujols, known to fans as Phat Albert or El Hombre.

On the Air Force One flight to the Midwest, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs added that the president has been practicing his pitch with aide Reggie Love, according to a pool report. Former campaign manager David Plouffe came along on the trip as "the representative of the Philadelphia Phillies today" and was "excited to go to the game," he said.

Obama also plans to spend time in the broadcast booth, helping Fox TV announcers call the game.

Arriving in St. Louis, Obama descended the stairs of Air Force One with baseball legend Willie Mays by his side. It was Mays's first trip aboard the presidential plane, he told reporters as he spoke emotionally about Obama's election.

"I reminded him that I dreamed about this day," Mays said of his conversation with the president. "Not being on Air Force One, but dreamed about someone in my race being president. Not knowing that anyone would be. But I reminded him that I cried for most of the
[election] night in Chicago."

Mays, who met up with Obama in Detroit, told reporters that he gave Obama just one tip for his first pitch: "Follow through."

"I'm just proud of him, you know," Mays said as he signed autographs for reporters and members of Obama's traveling staff. "He may be proud of something else. But I'm proud of him, what he stands for."

Obama was wearing jeans, sneakers and white shirt and black jacket as he arrived in St. Louis. Press secretary Robert Gibbs said the president would don a White Sox cap and jacket when he steps to the pitcher's mound.
Staff writer Paul Kane contributed to this report.

By Web Politics Editor  |  July 14, 2009; 2:44 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Washington Life , White House  
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For the moron spreading the nonsense about President Obama's birthplace:

When Barack Hussein Obama places his hand on the Bible to take the
oath of office as 44th president of the United States, Barbara
Nelson of Kenmore will undoubtedly think back to the day he was
born. It was Aug. 4, 1961, at Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women &
Children in Honolulu.

"I may be the only person left who specifically remembers his birth.
His parents are gone, his grandmother is gone, the obstetrician who
delivered him is gone," said Nelson, referring to Dr. Rodney T.
West, who died in February at the age of 98. Here's the story:
Nelson was having dinner at the Outrigger Canoe Club on Waikiki
Beach with Dr. West, the father of her college friend, Jo-Anne.
Making conversation, Nelson turned to Dr. West and said: "So, tell
me something interesting that happened this week," she recalls.

His response: "Well, today, Stanley had a baby. Now that's something
to write home about."

The new mother was Stanley (later referred to by her middle name of
Ann) Dunham, and the baby was Barack Hussein Obama.

"I penned the name on a napkin, and I did write home about it," said
Nelson, knowing that her father, Stanley A. Czurles, director of the
Art Education Department at Buffalo State College, would be
interested in the "Stanley" connection.

She also remembers Dr. West mentioning that the baby's father was
the first black student at the University of Hawaii and how taken he
was by the baby's name.

"I remember Dr. West saying 'Barack Hussein Obama, now that's a
musical name,'" said Nelson.

Ten years after that memorable birth announcement, Nelson would hear
the Obama name again. This time, the father, now a Kenyan government
official, was coming to speak at the Punahou School in Honolulu
where Nelson was teaching and where his 10-year-old son was a newly
enrolled fifth-grader.
Last updated: 7 July 2009

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Posted by: katn1084 | July 15, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh, yeah, and about Bush's years as the 5% "owner" but 100% "Decider" for the Texas Rangers: Check your history book, Republican fools, and you'll see that "W" was only known for three things while running the Texas Rangers into the ground: (1) using his daddy's political connections to get a stadium built by taxpayers which the Rangers got to use in a sweetheart deal, then losing the franchise's money in some terrible ways, then getting himself paid huge amounts anyway; (2) being the only dumb "owner" to object to having inter-league play, completely unable to see how much it would generate interest and revenues for MLB; and (3) trading Sammy Sosa for -- wait, no one remembers who he was so eager to get that he traded Sammy Sosa for him! What a dumba__ guy to find to hoodwink first Texas, then the whole USA! Get real, Republicans, there's no one less intelligent and less qualified to be president that you've run in over 100 years, oh, I nearly forgot, except Sarah Palin of course!

Posted by: TruthInBlogging | July 15, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are rapidly deteriorating into the KNoW-Nothing and Against-Everything Non-Party! Still trotting out the can't-find-his-birth-certificate BS! They think they have some Gawd-given Right to have a Republican president; consequently they engineered an Appointed president Bush (5 to 4) and then stole the 2004 election for him in Ohio and Florida just to try to prove Rove would be right about having a presidential reign of the new Republican nobility. Give it up, Republicans! Stop with the BS and spiteful hero-worship of one of the worst presidents in history, the guy who couldn't seem to do ANYTHING right!

Posted by: TruthInBlogging | July 15, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

The full paragraph reads, “For Ghana, Obama’s visit will be a celebration of another milestone in African history as it hosts the first-ever African-American President on this presidential visit to the continent of his birth.”

Why the Ghanaian news outlet would report that Obama was born on the continent of Africa, when this would instantly invalidate his entire presidency, is unclear.

In April a transcript from an interview with Obama’s step-grandmother was released in which she discussed being present at Obama’s birth in Mombasa, Kenya.

“WND is in possession of an affidavit submitted by Rev. Kweli Shuhubia, an Anabaptist minister in Kenya, who is the official Swahili translator for the annual Anabaptist Conference in Kenya, and a second affidavit signed by Bishop Ron McRae, the presiding elder of the Anabaptists’ Continental Presbytery of Africa,” reported Corsi.

In his affidavit, Shuhubia asserts “it is common knowledge throughout the Christian and Muslim communities in Kenya that Barack Hussein Obama, Jr., was born in Mombasa, Kenya.”

As Corsi reported recently, the hospital in Hawaii where Obama claims he was born has refused to produce documentation or even acknowledge the fact. Attempts to obtain Obama’s hospital-generated long-form original birth certificate have been rebuffed.

Doubts about Obama’s birth certificate are now spreading in military circles. U.S. Army Maj. Stefan Frederick Cook has refused to deploy to Afghanistan on the grounds that Obama is not a natural-born citizen of the United States and is therefore ineligible to serve as commander-in-chief. Cook’s lawyer, Orly Taitz, has filed separate lawsuits challenging the legitimacy of Obama’s presidency.July 14th, 2009 at 2:45 PM Reply

Posted by: ladya2004 | July 15, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse


How'd the Rangers do with Bush as the owner? Did they win any rings?

I guess the fans were thrilled to pay to make Bush fat. But then again he and his friends always make money - at somebody else's expense.

The organization he headed LOST money.

Care to comment on the strange coincidence that he got rich when he SOLD his interests in a broke organization?

Posted by: JohnQuimby | July 14, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

He could have stayed in MLB if he hadn't lost his shorts as an owner.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | July 14, 2009 8:38 PM

He invested 800,000k and made over 15 million. Quite an investor, unlike the magic Muslim, eh? Have anything more brilliant to say lib?

Posted by: cschotta1 | July 14, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

"Bush actually knew alot about baseball"

Uhmmm yeah. The Texas Rangers are another great example of the former Pres. executive skills.

He could have stayed in MLB if he hadn't lost his shorts as an owner.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | July 14, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

if it were bushlite you repugs would have nothing to say.your jealousy and bigotry are very obvious and want dumb and dingy palin to be your'd never get tired of seeing the ex-gov grand people make me sick.

Posted by: ninnafaye | July 14, 2009 8:16 PM

Go take your prozac lib! Bush actually knew alot about baseball, it's something he could relate to being that he's a true American! The Messiah still thinks he's the Celebrity in Chief. But to any normal American, the Messiah as POTUS is no different than the community organizer-both failed!

Posted by: cschotta1 | July 14, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

if it were bushlite you repugs would have nothing to say.your jealousy and bigotry are very obvious and want dumb and dingy palin to be your'd never get tired of seeing the ex-gov grand people make me sick.

Posted by: ninnafaye | July 14, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

God help the teleprompter.

Posted by: georgejones5 | July 14, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

There's always the radio.

Like Bush when he was in office Obama can do whatever the hell he wants to do.Especially when he was invited to join the booth.

Posted by: llewis40 | July 14, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

There's always the radio.

Like when Bush was in office OBAMA can do whatever the hell it is he wants to do. Especially if asked to join the booth which he was.

Posted by: llewis40 | July 14, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Do we see a post-ASG bump for Obama?

Posted by: parkerfl1 | July 14, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

obama is going to launch the baseball out of his colon...and you'll see two washington post reporters holding on for dear life...i bet it clocks at least 80mph fastball.

Posted by: JWx2 | July 14, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I really don't need this guy intruding on every aspect of my life.

Posted by: wapo9


Get a grip, man.

Posted by: zukermand | July 14, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

"Obama also plans to spend time in the network booth, helping announcers call the game."

Is there any way that I can Obama off my television? He's everywhere, all the time. He's quickly turning into the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral. God.

Throwing out the first pitch is fine, but how about he just watches the game from the stands after that? Is that too much to ask? I really don't need this guy intruding on every aspect of my life.

Posted by: wapo9 | July 14, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

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