FW: Pool Report #2

From: Freedman, Dan [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Thursday, July 21, 2016 12:57 PM
To: Gabriel, Brian A. EOP/WHO ; Velz, Peter T. EOP/WHO ; Barnes, Desiree N. EOP/WHO ; Allen, Jessica L. EOP/WHO
Subject: Fwd: Pool Report #2

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From: xxx@email.com
Date: July 21, 2016 at 12:53:39 PM EDT
To: xxx@email.com
Subject: Pool Report #2

Visit of K.C. Royals was open press but here are a few highlights.
It followed the paradigm of other sports-team visits… team lines up behind podium, president introduced, POTUS makes reference to nicknames and team jokes, praises volunteer activities, poses for pix.
One difference (at least in pooler’s experience) was the podium was set up on the South side of the East Room, instead of the usual East. This was likely to accommodate the packed house of KC fans, political figures, team families and the like.
Among those receiving a special greeting from POTUS was Sen. Bob Dole, who sat in a wheelchair in the first row to the president’s left.

President entered the room at approximately 12:05 Was in good mood, good form, perhaps welcoming a break from a streak of bad news. Among others, he singled out first baseman Eric Hosmer as ``Hoz,’’ catcher Salvador Perez as ``Salvy,’’ who evidently dumps the bucket on the walk-off winning player (known as the ``Salvy Splash.’’) Also recognized was injured third baseman Mike Moustakas, the mention of whose name brought a cry of ``Mooooose’’ from the partisan crowd.

Among those in attendance were Royals owner David Glass, who spoke briefly after POTUS, and Hall of Famer George Brett, who stood with the team during the ceremony. Frank White, key player on the last Royals championship team in 1985, was in the crowd, as was former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (also ex-Gov of Kansas), KC mayor Sly James, and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver. Josh Earnest, a professed Royals fan, was there with his young son (more on Josh below). POTUS singled him out saying that most exciting moment of Josh’s life was birth of son, ``but this is close!’’ (Check transcript for quotes.)

He praised the team’s fighting spirit, saying ``I can see why Royals fans love this team so much.’’ He mentioned they have 8 comeback wins in the playoffs, an MLB record. POTUS also talked about the Negro League museum in KC. So it’s easy to ``understand how central this game is’’ to the American experience.

Manager Ned Yost presented POTUS with a KC Royals jersey, with Obama written on the back over the number 44. After the pictures, POTUS lingered with Sen. Dole and shook hands of those in front row including Labor Secretary Tom Perez, still a Hillary VP possibility.

Earlier, Yost, Hosmer and Perez broke up the Josh briefing to present him with a Royals jersey. Josh traded jokes with Yost and flashed it around the room, #15 with the name Earnest across the top.

Interesting historical note: According to the White House Historical Association, President Andrew Johnson was the first president to greet a professional baseball team at the White House. On Aug. 30, 1865, he met the Washington Nationals and the Brooklyn Atlantics.

Dan Freedman

Hearst Newspapers Washington Bureau




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