Video: John McCain pumps up Teddy Roosevelt on HD scoreboard. Teddy listens. Could victory #1 be next?

Teddy Roosevelt 26 Eye Black Teddyin2012John McCain gives Teddy Roosevelt Pep Talk on the scoreboardJohn McCain gives Teddy Roosevelt Pep Talk on the scoreboardTeddy Roosevelt Falls in the outfieldGeorge Washington dives for the finish lineThe Washington Nationals did nothing to dispell the notion that they are preparing to let Teddy win the presidents race after clinching their first division championship Monday night at Nationals Park.

Fans arriving early for the newly-minted “Teddy in 2012″ series were given Teddy-themed “eye black” decals promoting the cause for #26 himself. That much was known before the game.

But few expected Arizona senator John McCain to appear on the Nationals Park HD scoreboard in the third inning, giving the Rough Rider a pep talk in advance of the race.

In the video, shown below, McCain catches Teddy playing in a kiddy pool in the Nationals Park tunnel.

“You’re my hero. You’re the guy I admire the most,” McCain says, “and this is the way you get ready for a game?” McCain goes on to call Teddy “the victim of a vast left wing conspiracy by the Commie pinko libs in this town.”

After promising a full investigation by the United States Senate, McCain goes inspirational. “The Nats are winning,” he says in the video. “They are there, and you’re gonna lead ‘em, Teddy, and you’re gonna win.”

The next inning, Teddy gave it a spectacular effort and looking fit as a bull moose, sprinted out to a big lead, but fell forward onto the warning track under his own momentum.

Perhaps inspired by McCain’s words, Teddy lept back to his feet and pushed ahead for the finish line, with George Washington hot on his tail.

That’s when the father of our country put his finish line experience into play, diving head first to take the tape and move into a tie for first with Abraham Lincoln.

Congratulations to the 2012 Nationals League East Champions.


In the two weeks since McCain appeared on ESPN and called for a congressional investigation in a Ken Burns-narrated video about Teddy and the presidents race, the Arizona Senator has become the most high-profile member of the Let Teddy Win movement. In fact, the publicity it generated, including a response by the White House, inspired the Nationals to turn this final homestand into a Teddy-themed series.

Finish line video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome
Teddy 26 “Eye black” photo courtesy of reader Maurice Werner.

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:

Video: Teddy shows promise but comes up short in first playoff-era presidents race

Teddy Roosevelt Looking GoodTeddy Roosevelt Loses“Look at the running of Teddy Roosevelt,” Bob Carpenter advised viewers on Friday night’s MASN broadcast.

“He’s either dropped a few lbs., been training seriously, or a combination of the two because  I’ve never seen him run this well.”

“He’s training for something,” added color commentator F.P. Santangelo.  “He’s on a mission.”

With Arizona Senator John McCain in the Nationals Park stands for the first time since calling for a congressional investigation into the presidents race on ESPN’s E:60, Teddy came up just short in his first bid to taste presidents victory of the Nationals’ post-playoff-clinching era.

With the Brewers in town for the only time this season, Friday’s race was also notable for the absence of the “un-racing sausages.”  The cardboard replicas have been a fixture at Nationals Park since Milwaukee first declined to bring the real racing sausages to DC in 2008.

Of course, after Teddy got a chance to clobber the real thing at this year’s All-Star game, perhaps the cardboard version just doesn’t make the cut.

Video courtesy of YouTube member 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.

Video: Ken Burns narrates and John McCain featured as ESPN E:60 profiles the Let Teddy Win movement

As usual, Teddy Roosevelt pulled up the rear but stole the show, as  ESPN’s E:60 ended  Tuesday night with an eight minute Ken Burns-narrated feature story on the conspiracy surrounding Nationals racing  president Teddy Roosevelt.

Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt ESPNTeddy Roosevelt's great great grandson Winthrop RooseveltJohn McCain with Teddy Roosevelt DollTeddy Roosevelt Presidents Race Abe CheatsESPN’s Michael Johns set out to produce the definitive piece on the Let Teddy Win movement, and by all accounts, a new bar has been set. The mini-documentary featured the Let Teddy Win blog along with interviews with Senator John McCain and the great great grandson of Theodore Roosevelt himself, Winthrop Roosevelt.

“Theodore Roosevelt is one of the great presidents in history,” McCain says in the video. “I’ve been paying a lot of attention to the fact that one of the truly great presidents in history has never won a race. I’m outraged. That’s why I’m calling for congressional hearings to right this horrible wrong.”

The Arizona senator called Teddy’s losing streak “one of the more traumatic experiences I’ve had as I watch my hero, my childhood idol, being treated in such a cavalier fashion.”

“He is Mount Rushmore’s Rodney Dangerfield,” Burns intones has he describes Teddy’s lot in modern day Washington, “a legendary president that gets no respect.”

Moments after the feature aired on ESPN, it had already inspired a “Make Teddy Win” charity campaign.

Charity Fund applies Game Theory to pressure Nats to Let Teddy Win

CORRECTION: Because of a tweet I attributed to Senator John McCain, I inadvertantly reported  Tuesday night that this fund had been established by McCain.  My apologies to Mr. Halperin and Mr. McCain.

Moments after  Tuesday night’s ESPN E:60 profile about the Let Teddy Win movement, Nats fan Jon Halperin announced the establishment of a charitable fund designed to put pressure on the Nationals to let Teddy win.

“I have been attending Nats games since April 14, 2005,” Halperin writes. “I have seen Teddy suffer vicious attacks and unfair disqualifications. After watching the ESPN E:60 report, I decided enough was enough. I am going to do something to help ‘Make Teddy Win’.

Halperin set up the fund at Indiegogo.com, and is soliciting donations from members of the movement. 50% of the funds collected will be designated to be split between the DC Central Kitchen and the The Fisher House Foundation.

Then here’s where it gets interesting, as Halperin applies a little game theory logic on the Nationals:

If the Teddy wins a race this year and the win is officially recognized in the standings by the team, then 50% of the funds collected will go to the Nationals’ own Dream Foundation. If Teddy doesn’t win, those funds will be split between the other two charities.

“I have been going to Nats games since they moved back to DC and I have always cheered for Teddy,” Halperin told me via email. “I wanted to pick causes that all of DC area can support. The Fisher House does a great job supporting Military families while members of our Armed Forces are hospitalized and DC Central Kitchen helps fight against hunger and homelessness while providing job training. Also both organizations have a strong record of accountability.”

But will it work?

“I do think there is a certain amount,” Halperin says, “where the Nats would have to stop and think if its worth Letting Teddy Win.”

The goal set for the campaign is $6,000, but here’s hoping Teddy fans will bust through that mark (it might take more than that to sway the Nats).

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.

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