Published Friday, August 10, 2012

Is President Obama still batting?

Turkish opposition leaders this week criticized and found fault with a White House photograph showing President Barack Obama holding a baseball bat while talking on the phone with the prime minister of Turkey.

They said it was “disrespectful” of the Turkish leader.

I don’t know whether it was or not, but I do think it was unwise for the president to be photographed with a baseball bat.

It opens the way for all kinds of questions and comments, such as “Oh, is President Obama still at bat? I thought he had already sat down.” Or “well, at least he is still in the game.”

Then there is the often heard and repeated statement, as the campaign heats up: “He is a good, smooth orator who talks a good game, but never gets to first base with most of his promises.”

“He plans and projects, but never produces anything. It’s like he was swinging at air and never hitting anything.”

As he moves closer to completing his first term as president, some disappointed voter might feel led to say, like a dedicated baseball fan moaning and groaning: “It might have been better for him if he had never entered the batter’s box.”

“He took us out to the ball game,” as the song says, “but we can’t honestly say, ‘We don’t care if we never come back.’”

Of course, no one actually knows for sure exactly how everything is going to turn out on election night, but I think it was a funny and not too smart an idea to picture Obama with a baseball bat in his hand.

It reminds the careful observer: “He had his turn at bat and struck out.”

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