Wall Street Journal reports Teddy seeks meeting with Obama, McCain calls it a “vast left wing conspiracy”

Teddy Roosevelt Racing President sketch Wall Street Journal

Dot drawing of Teddy Roosevelt from the front page of Saturday’s Wall Street Journal

The Nationals are seeking a tête-à-tête between racing president Teddy Roosevelt and Barack Obama, as Arizona Senator John McCain calls Teddy’s losing streak a “vast left-wing conspiracy being organized by pinko commie liberals,” according to Saturday’s Wall Street Journal.

The front page story by diplomatic correspondent Neil King, Jr. caps a week in which the Let Teddy Win movement has become national news, following an ESPN profile by Ken Burns and a White House statement in support of the cause.

King’s profile revisits the outrage expressed by McCain and White House spokesman Jay Carney over Teddy’s losing streak, adding additional perspectives from Roosevelt biographer Edmund Morris, and from Teddy’s great great grandson Kermit Roosevelt.

“I find this whole thing extraordinarily unfunny,” Morris tells the Journal.

“Teddy would have physically dominated any of those guys,” adds Roosevelt, who turns out to be a Phillies fan, and believes in a curse. “The Nationals will not win the World Series until Teddy wins the presidents’ race,” he said.

The Let Teddy Win blog gets a few nods as well, and the online story features a compilation of our race videos taken by longtime blog contributor lfahome:

Barack Obama joins the Let Teddy Win movement

President Barack Obama has thrown his support behind the Let Teddy Win movement, the White house said Thursday.

Obama was responding to Republican Senator John McCain’s call for a congressional investigation into the Washington Nationals’ conspiracy against racing president Teddy Roosevelt in a video report that aired Tuesday on ESPN’s E:60.

White House spokesman Jay Carney opened Thursday’s  press briefing aboard Air Force One with a prepared statement about the presidents race as an example of the possibility for bipartisanship in Washington.

“Senator McCain gave an important interview the other day,” Carney said, calling Teddy’s losses “an outrage.”

“I agree with Sen. McCain,” he continued.  “I’m comfortable saying my boss agrees with Sen. McCain.”

Carney went on to note that president Obama has long been a fan of Theodore Roosevelt.

The White House has posted the full transcript here.

Photo: Racing presidents at the White House on July 4

The Washington Nationals Racing Presidents visit the White HouseThe Washington Nationals’ racing presidents made yet another appearance at the White House yesterday, joining president Barack Obama and his family for an Independence Day barbecue honoring military heroes and their families.

The appearance was part of a renewed effort by the Nats’ organization to embrace the military this year.

The First Lady also appeared at Nationals Park Tuesday night in support of her Joining Forces initiative, which focuses on mobilizing all sectors of society to support military families.

Photo: Washington Nationals

Racing presidents chase White Sox Southpaw on Segways

The Washington Nationals returned to town Friday night for a short homestand of interleague play against the Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals, sandwiched at either end with starts by rookie pitcher Stephen Strasburg.

Chicago White Sox Mascot Southpaw at Nationals ParkPresident Barack Obama joined the sellout crowd on Friday to see his beloved White Sox take on the Nationals new main attraction, and unlike his previous visit to Nationals Park, he stayed until the 9th inning, and got to witness his first Nationals presidents race.

Washington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt rides a Segway during the presidents raceChicago White Sox mascot Southpaw has joined the team in DC for the weekend series, and surprised the crowd by emerging alone out of the gate for the beginning of the 4th-inning presidents race.

Just as the crowd was wondering where the presidents were, they emerged in centerfield aboard Segway personal transporters, with Thomas Jefferson at the front of the pack, and
Teddy sadly lagging far behind.

As they passed Southpaw and approached the finish line, Jefferson appeared to lose control, and Abe Lincoln passed him to claim the victory. As he broke the tape, Illinois’ favorite son pointed up to Obama’s box along the third base line.

The racing presidents were sporting brand new red running shoes to kick off the homestand, but as it turned out, they had no need for them at all.

Opening day disaster for the Nats and Teddy

Until the 4th inning, it was looking pretty good for both the Washington Nationals and Teddy Roosevelt on opening day at Nationals Park. Then the bottom fell out.

Pitcher John Lannan lost control in the top of the 4th, gave up the lead, and let the Phillies bat around the order.

Teddy too, looked good coming out of the gate following an exciting new scoreboard introduction in the middle of the 4th. He took a close lead around the final turn, but appeared to pull up lame after high-fiving a fan in the stands. As the other presidents and members of the Nat Pack tried to help Teddy up, Abe Lincoln raced from behind to claim the first presidents race victory of 2010.

With that, the spring hopes of many Washington Nationals fans were muted considerably. Hopes had been running high for signs of both a Nationals team turnaround and an end to Teddy’s losing streak, but the Nats’ pitching could not deliver, and Teddy’s status for Wednesday’s race is now uncertain.

Fans of the presidents race had been hoping that president Barack Obama would perhaps make a presidents race appearance of his own.

Our 44th president was on hand to throw out the first pitch, continuing a long-standing tradition of presidential first pitches in Washington.

Obama, a devout fan of the Chicago White Sox, took the field at the end of an elaborate 30-minute opening ceremony.

President Obama First Pitch Nationals ParkHe approached the pitchers mound wearing a Nationals warm-up jacket, but pulled a White Sox cap out of his pocket and donned it before tossing the ceremonial pitch to Ryan Zimmerman. Much to the dismay of many Nats fans, the First Fan made it clear where his allegiances lie.

Obama left before the 4th inning, and failed to see either the game or the presidents race.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Obama to throw out first pitch on opening day

Barack Obama will throw out the first pitch at Nationals Park for the Washington Nationals home opener on April 13.Finally!

The Washington Nationals confirmed today that president Barack Obama will be on hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitch when the Nationals take on the Philadelphia Phillies for opening day 2010.

Team president Stan Kasten and various members of the Natosphere have hoped that Obama will make the presidential first pitch an annual tradition again in Washington. That seems more likely than converting White Sox fan Obama into a Nationals fan — at least for now.

The presidential first pitch was started 100 years ago by William Howard Taft in April, 1910. President George W. Bush threw out the first pitch for the Nationals when they first moved to DC in 2005 and when they opened Nationals Park in 2008.

Fans are advised to show up early because of the extra security sure to be on hand. Gates will open at 10:00am, and pregame ceremonies will include a presentation of the 2009 Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards to Ryan Zimmerman, hosted by CBS’s James Brown. Additional pregame distractions will include balloon artists, face painters, live bands in the centerfield plaza, and $5 beer specials until 12:30pm.

Advance ticket sales for opening day are sold out, but as always, the Nationals have reserved 400 day-of-game seats in sections 401 and 402 for only $5 beginning at 10:00am on Monday at the Nationals Park Main Box Office. You must have all members of your party at the box office to get these tickets (that is, one person can’t walk up and ask for 8 tickets).

To help speed through security, the team is advising fans to leave all bags and backpacks at home.

Racing presidents attend White House easter egg roll before opening day game

The Washington Nationals Racing Presidents at the White House Easter Egg RollIt was indeed a busy day for the Washington Nationals racing presidents. While Nats fans were lining up for the opening day festivities at Nationals Park, the racing presidents were across town, further cementing their new roll as DC-area icons.

For the third straight year, George, Tom, Abe, and Teddy were invited to participate in the annual White House Easter Egg Roll.

President Obama still hasn’t been to Nationals Park, but perhaps the cheers of “Let Teddy Win” on the White House lawn clued him in to the unique fan experience we have going on South Capitol Street.

Photo courtesy of Erik Metzroth

Obama will not throw out the first pitch at Nats opener Monday

Barack Obama will not throw out the first pitch on opening day at Nationals ParkThe White House has told the Washington Times that president Barack Obama will not be available to throw out the first pitch at the Washington Nationals home opener Monday at Nationals Park.

It had been previously reported that Barack Obama would attend, provided his schedule didn’t change because of world events. The Nationals have avoided promoting his presence because of the uncertainty, which remained until today.

Rubbing salt in the wound, the president will welcome the visiting Philadelphia Phillies to the White House the next day.

Count me as one profoundly disappointed Nationals fan. I don’t relish the added security that a presidential appearance brings to the park, but Obama has an opportunity to revive a 100-year-old tradition of sitting presidents throwing out the first pitch at the DC home opener. Let’s hope the nation’s #1 sports fan doesn’t wait until next year for an opportunity to see the Nationals play at home (and maybe even adopt the Nats as his new home team).

Open question: Who will the Nats line up as Obama’s replacement?

Photo courtesy of flickr user jurvetson

Barack Obama to throw out the first pitch at Nationals home opener

Barack Obama will throw out the first pitch at Nationals Park for the Washington Nationals home opener on April 13.Ben Goessling reports in Saturday’s Washington Times that president Barack Obama will throw out the first pitch at the Washington Nationals home opener against the Phillies on April 13.

The Times cites a club source who spoke “on the condition of anonymity” because no announcement has been made.

Team president Stan Kasten and various members of the Natosphere have hoped that Obama will make the presidential first pitch an annual tradition in Washington. That seems more likely than converting Obama into a Nationals fan — at least in the short-term.

Lots of tickets still available at Nationals.com.

Racing president Abe Lincoln muscles in on Obama’s inauguration

The name Abraham Lincoln was invoked by commentators and politicians again and again throughout president Barack Obama’s inauguration festivities this week. Abe’s imprint was everywhere — from the concert at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to the bible used to administer Obama’s oath of office.

Seeking to boost his image and muscle in on the good will of an unknowing public, Washington Nationals racing president Abe Lincoln made a number of unannounced appearances for the inauguration celebration.

Washington Nationals racing president Abe Lincoln at Barack Obama's inaugural paradeIn addition to appearances at the previously announced Children’s Inaugural Ball and the Illinois Inaugural Gala, Abe was seen aboard the Illinois float in the inaugural parade.

Flickr photographer Ginger Vibes spotted Abe mingling with the crowd along Pennsylvania Avenue.

The suspected cheater and reigning presidents race champion was later caught by Flickr photographer Melanie Phung mugging with partygoers at the Texas State Society “Black Tie and Boots Ball.”

Washington Nationals racing president Abe Lincoln at the Texas State Society Ball

Meanwhile, over at the Delaware State Society Inaugural Ball, Joe Biden was mingling with invited guest Teddy Roosevelt, seen here with Nat Pack member Stephanie Baldwin and Nationals Park mainstay Clint Kouhry, who I must say cleans up quite nicely:

Washington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt with Nat Pack members Clint Kouhry and Stephanie Baldwin at the Delaware State Society Inaugural Ball

Yes, the presidents certainly got around on Tuesday. It’s great to see our that our favorite Nationals Park tradition has so quickly been embraced as a symbol of DC culture. Where else did you spot our racing presidents?

Teddy welcomes Barack Obama to Washington

Barack Obama with racing president Teddy Roosevelt from philliefan99 on flickrIt’s a big day here in Washington as Barack Obama takes the oath of office, and as reported last week, Washington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt will be on hand to help celebrate at some of today’s inaugural festivities.

Intrepid photographer and presidents race fan Phil Yabut captured the moment with his Pentax as his famous Teddy Roosevelt bobblehead doll met up with its Barack Obama bobblehead counterpart to commemorate the moment.

Phil’s photoset of Teddy’s continued adventures, titled Teddy’s Travels and Travails, is up to 79 photos and can be found on Flickr.

Racing Presidents to Make Inaugural Ball Appearances

At least three of the Washington Nationals racing presidents will be making appearances at inaugural events, balls, and galas next week in Washington, DC. For many Obama administration newcomers, it will be a first introduction to this great Nationals tradition, though if the current schedule holds, Barack Obama’s home state of Illinois Inaugural Gala will receive only a solo visit from the current reigning presidents race champion, the no-good cheating Abraham Lincoln.

While this has been rumored for some time, the schedule could not be confirmed until now because of the logistics of lining up so many members of the mascot crew for the big inaugural weekend. More events may be added, but at a minimum, you can expect to fun into the Nationals racing presidents at the following inaugural events:

SUNDAY 1/18 11:45am – 1:00pm: George Washington and and Abe Lincoln at the Children’s Inaugural Ball, The Historical Society of Washington, D.C.

MONDAY 1/19 7:30pm – 10:00pm, Abe Lincoln at the Illinois Inaugural Gala, the Renaissance Hotel Washington.

MONDAY 1/19 7:30pm – 10:00pm, Teddy Roosevelt at the Delaware State Society Inaugural Ball, the Willard InterContinental Hotel.

TUESDAY 1/20 11:00am – 4:00pm, Teddy Roosevelt at the New York State Society Inaugural Brunch, the Willard InterContinental Hotel.

If you are going to any of these events, we’d love to see your photos in the presidents race group on Flickr.

Flickr photo by apcooby.

Keeping busy in the off-season

Another baseball post-season began today without the participation of the Washington Nationals, but racing president Teddy Roosevelt appears to be keeping himself busy throughout he election season.

I wrote in August about Phil Yabut’s Teddy Roosevelt bobblehead doll, whose travels and travails are being documented in a Flickr photoset. Since then, Teddy has continued to take in more sites, and was spotted most recently assessing presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama during the presidential debate.

Despite Phil’s allegiance to the Phillies, the set is inspired and worth checking out. The Nationals had no chance of seeing the playoffs in 2008, but perhaps Teddy’s bobblehead doll will.

The Nationals Presidents Race Gets Political

Today the always entertaining Washington political blogger Howard Mortman used a little digital photoshoppery to encourage his readers to visualize opening day at Nationals Stadium in April, 2009.

Middle of the 4th inning.

Once again, Teddy comes in last, embarrassing himself while losing
to Abe, George and Tom.

But who’s that new President with the big ears and winning smile?

Howard, you may have gotten just two things wrong with your prediction. One is that instead of “Nationals Stadium,” you’re more likely to be reporting from Geico Field. Two is that regardless of opponent, Teddy, with his eternally sunny outlook, does not ever appear to embarrass himself.

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