President Obama Attends Baseball Game, Conservative Blogger Freaks Out

Last night President Obama and a few family members attended the Nationals-White Sox game in Washington:

Stephen Strasburg set a strikeout record in front of President Obama on Friday — but both had left the game by the time the Chicago White Sox won the game in the 11th inning.

Strasburg, the 21-year-old rookie sensation, struck out 10 to run his strikeout tally to an unprecedented 32 through his first three starts, yet he experienced his first no-decision in the White Sox’ 2-1 victory over the host Washington Nationals.

The Nationals have lost six of seven, with Strasburg accounting for the only victory during that stretch.

Strasburg allowed four hits in seven innings and at one point retired 15 batters in a row. He lowered his earned run average to 1.86 and did not walk a batter for the second time in three starts.

Obama made a surprise visit to Nationals Park — his arrival was not announced inside the stadium, and there was not the stringent security for fans that usually accompanies one of his public appearances.

This apparently didn’t sit well with Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft who, drawing on a comment Obama made in May when he said that he would not rest until the leak in the Gulf of Mexico was stopped, said the following:

Except, of course, for the ball games, golf, vacations, parties, etc. He shares your anger, Louisiana. Remember that.

As James and Steven have both written in connection with similar complaints by Hoft and other conservative bloggers about Obama’s golf habit, I find this whole meme that there’s something wrong with a President taking time for leisure activities to be utterly ridiculous whether it comes from the left or the right.

For one thing, the fact of the matter is that the President is never really “off duty.” If something were to have happened while Obama was at the ballgame, he would have been instantaneously reachable and would have been in the car back to the White House if necessary. For another, what exactly is it that Hoft would have had the President do last night ? It’s not like he can strap on the SCUBA gear and go down the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico to plug the leak himself. As every President does, he delegates power to those who have the capability to do things.

One can argue about the President’s performance in office in that regard, but to criticize him for going to a baseball game is stupid and petty. Moreover, spending your time criticizing the President’s leisure activities isn’t solid political analysis, it’s the same sort of political hackery that Michael Moore and others on the left engaged in when they made the same criticisms of President Bush, and it tells the world that you have nothing of substance to say other than I hate that guy because he’s a Democrat/Republican.

So let the President go to a ball game and just keep your mouth shut, please.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Blogosphere, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Rick Sheridan says:

    I’m fine with Presidents taking time off for leisure activities.
    But this President has a habit of making momentarily convenient statements that have no relation to what he intends to do. Don’t say you won’t rest until the problem is solved and then do just the opposite.
    Easy.

  2. Every President makes a statement like that when faced with a crisis. Taken literally, Obama saying he’s not going to rest until the leak is plugged means that he shouldn’t be sleeping either. I wonder if Hoft will criticize him for that too.

  3. snowed in says:

    More interesting to me is the very different way Tony Hayward was treated by the AP for attending a yacht race on the same day that the president went to the baseball game.

    http://bit.ly/91MpNw for details.

  4. Tim says:

    More interesting is the different way Doug Manacotis freaked out when Tony Hayward went to a yacht race.

  5. Boyd says:

    And for the record, ain’t nobody strapping on scuba gear and swimming down to the well head at 5000′ below the surface.

    Back on to the main subject, though, it’s just a matter of a politician resorting to hyperbole. Ain’t nothin’ differnt ’bout dat, just more of the same ol’ same ol’.

  6. More interesting is the different way Doug Manacotis freaked out when Tony Hayward went to a yacht race.

    Read the post, friend:

    I don’t begrudge Hayward leisure time, but the public relations image that this creates in the mind of most people is pretty bad.

    The only people freaking out over Tony Hayward’s yacht race work in the PR department at BP.

  7. Herb says:

    More interesting is this weird comparison between the President of the United States and the (former?) CEO of BP…..

    Apples and oranges? I think so.

  8. nono524 says:

    If Obama can go to a baseball game, why can’t the CEO of BP go sailing?

  9. Herb says:

    If Obama can go to a baseball game and the CEO of BP can go sailing, why can’t Willie Nelson cut his hair?

  10. john personna says:

    Is it in part the difference between a baseball game and a yacht race? Totally different connotations there.

  11. Chicago Ray says:

    “Don’t say you won’t rest until the problem is solved and then do just the opposite.
    Easy”

    You would think wouldn’t ya? 😉

    All Heyward is running is a lousy company, something Obama never did, and He’s supposed to be running a country and he hides so he doesn’t have to make decisions. He did the same thing in the Illinois senate, a part time job, when he voted present more than any senator in history.

    Meanwhile today the liberal world and Media freaks out because this executive liberals wanted off the job takes in yacht race, about the same thing as a 10 million dollar skybox trip during the middle of the afternoon blowing off what wold be 5 more hours of work for any other joe dick or barney.

    Hypocrisy city man.

  12. Chicago Ray says:

    calrify: I mean a 10 million dollar box to hang out in, not the trip, although Obama’s Air FOrce One trip to Ohio this past week to give a ten minute speech cost us all 1 million bucks.

  13. Chicago Ray says:

    Clarification…. I mean a 10 million dollar box to hang out in, not the trip, although Obama’s Air Force One trip to Ohio this past week to give a ten minute speech cost us all 1 million bucks. That’s about the what, 20 or 30th trip at least, do the math.

  14. Herb says:

    Ha! Funny, you admit that “H[a]yward is running is a lousy company” but then find fault with the liberals and the media who want him off the job? Ummmmmmm…….yeah.

    You run a lousy company, you should lose your job. So you’re going to disagree with the liberals and the media even when they’re right? Why? Because there’s glory in being wrong? Since when?

  15. Chicago Ray says:

    Obviously I think both are jags only Heyward doesn’t work for us Obama does.

    That’s who I care about. That BP money is our money not BP’s and anyone who works for a living would know to expect to not be able to afford to buy gas when these two morons get done.

    Obama should at least be working a 50 hour week like we do and he’s not working when jerking off at the ballgame. You do that when your an alderman, not the president when there’s 50000 barrels of oil barreling into the sea.

  16. just me says:

    I look forward tot he day when everyone can get past nitpicking a president’s down time. I really don’t care that the president went to a baseball game when there is an oil spill in the gulf, because I realize there isn’t a darn thing Obama can personally do to help the matter. All the president can do is work to create policy that makes stopping it and cleaning it up easier.

    But I still don’t have much sympathy when he gets the criticism given the fact that Bush was nitpicked to death over his every move-that whole goose/gander thing at work for him. Liberals dished up for years, and now Obama gets to eat some too.

  17. Trumwill says:

    Obama should at least be working a 50 hour week like we do and he’s not working when jerking off at the ballgame.

    I would be really interested to know who the last president was that did not work at least 50 hours a week. I would imagine that you would have to go back a number of decades. There is a reason that being president results in rapid aging and it isn’t because presidents carry a light work load.

  18. “So let the President go to a ball game and just keep your mouth shut, please.”

    Wow, you are truly starting to sound like a Democrat, Doug, and I do not write that lightly.

    What say you to Obama spending yet another 4 hours on the golf course after spending last night watching the game? Obama campaigned for the job of POTUS. With it come responsibilities, once he is consistently shirking in favor of the perks.

  19. William,

    I oppose the President’s policies

    I disagree with the direction he wants to take the country.

    But, I think that criticizing him for taking a few hours to watch a ball game on a Friday night or play a round of golf a Saturday afternoon is exceedingly stupid.

    Therefore, I’m a Democrat.

    Yea, that makes perfect sense.

  20. Wayne says:

    The President needs down time and plenty of it but the BP CEO doesn’t need any.

    Liberal type of argument “what you expect the BP CEO to strap on a scuba outfit and plug the hole”

    The President is never off duty even when playing golf, attending concerts, etc but the BP CEO evidently is if he takes a break. Give me a break.

    “If something were to have happened while Obama was at the ballgame, he would have been instantaneously reachable. “ and the BP CEO can’t?

    There is nothing constructive the President could be doing if not taking all these breaks. Right.

    There is plenty that a BP CEO can do but the President of the United Stated is helpless.

    Double standards stack on top of more double standards.

    IMO both need a little down time “once” in awhile. However it seems like Obama does it a great deal more than he should. That and amount of time he campaigns. I wonder when does he have time to do his job?

  21. wr says:

    Wayne — Call back when you can prove that you objected to the weeks that W spent on vacation — more than any other president in history. Until then, you’re just looking for another reason to rag on Obama. And guess what — it ain’t the president who comes out looking bad from this.

  22. anjin-san says:

    A few things come to mind. Much as Palin, Beck and so on would wish us to believe, Obama did not create this problem. Hayward, to a fair extent, did.

    As someone who’s job has some corporate PR elements, I can tell you that the yacht race displays a degree of tone deafness that defies the imagination. I mean, it’s great if you have a patch of water that is not ruined by oil to race on, no? The “little people” who fish on the gulf for a living have no such luxury.

    If this does not get Hayward sacked, nothing will.

    As for those on the right who are worked up by Obama going to a ballgame, they make a hysterical old lady look like a model of composure. Remarkable how they are not tired of defending BP after the amount of harm their negligence has done to our country.

  23. G.A.Phillips says:

    ***they make a hysterical old lady look like a model of composure.*** hmmm……

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izpU4YJ0ZAA&feature=player_embedded#!

  24. anjin-san says:

    Damn GA, I just can’t figure how folks say the right is utterly devoid of ideas…

  25. Wayne says:

    Wr
    How many concerts did Bush have on those supposed vacations?

    Politicians should get out of Washington a great deal more.

    Anjin
    Showing your double standards again. Hayward is tone deaf but Obama is perfectly OK for doing basically the same thing.

    Obama was responsible for requiring the rig to drill in 5000 feet of water instead of 500. He is responsible for the safety wavers his administration gave to BP. So yes he did to an extent created the problem.

    Obama by law is responsible for the Cleanup effort during such spills. So quit trying to push Obama’s responsibilities onto someone else.

  26. anjin-san says:

    He is responsible for the safety wavers his administration gave to BP.

    If you can prove that Salazar, who is a member of the Obama administration, was involved in the waiver decision, you will have something. Otherwise, you appear to be confused about the difference between “the Obama administration” and “the Federal Government”.

    Obama was responsible for requiring the rig to drill in 5000 feet of water instead of 500.

    Really? Can you break this down a bit?

  27. john personna says:

    “Obama was responsible for requiring the rig to drill in 5000 feet of water instead of 500.”

    It’s’ based on the fantasy of plentiful, shallow, oil. It’s also based on the fantasy that “Obama” is stopping anyone, anywhere.

    I’d ask these clowns to (1) point to a big untapped shallow reserve (that will be hard enough) and then if you do find one (2) is it the feds or the local communities opposing it?

    My coastal California city has only a little oil beneath it, but it’s my city that has a ban on going after that little bit. It wasn’t Obama.

  28. john personna says:

    There is a graph of remaining oil reserves on the second page of this pdf:

    http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs-062-03/

    I don’t see any green on land or in shallow waters of the US.,

  29. tom p says:

    “Obama was responsible for requiring the rig to drill in 5000 feet of water instead of 500. He is responsible for the safety wavers his administration gave to BP. So yes he did to an extent created the problem.”

    Wayne: Ahhhh, No.

    Those laws were written long before Obama got into office… by Congress… when he wasn’t in Congress.

    If you want to criticize Obama, do it for the totally inadequate response in the early days of the spill.

    I do.

  30. Wayne says:

    Re “difference between “the Obama administration” and “the Federal Government”.”

    Who is the chief executive of the federal government? Obama. He is responsible for the day to day activities of its agencies including the MMS, EPA and the Coast Guard.

    The mineral rights were purchase in 2008 to this area. BP filed their impact studies and receive EPA\etc permits to drill during the Obama administration. BP started drilling while under the Obama’s administration supervision in October of last year.

    It was under Obama administration that they sign the waivers. Past Congresses didn’t sign the waivers. Obama did.

  31. anjin-san says:

    Still amazing that there is no anger at BP from the right at all. Just water carrying. Yet for Obama, limitless fury, even if most of it is based on nonsense.

  32. anjin-san says:

    Obama was responsible for requiring the rig to drill in 5000 feet of water instead of 500

    Please refer us to the relevant executive order or bill with Obama’s signature on it. Failing that, admit that your assertation is a joke.

    Past Congresses didn’t sign the waivers. Obama did.

    Really? Can you link us to one of the waivers with Obama’s signature on it?

  33. Grewgills says:

    Obama was responsible for requiring the rig to drill in 5000 feet of water instead of 500. He is responsible for the safety wavers his administration gave to BP. So yes he did to an extent created the problem.

    You apparently realized that the planning for this project predates Obama’s inauguration when BP purchased the mineral rights from MMS in 2008 so how is it that Obama is responsible for BP drilling this find in 5000′ rather than 500′ of water?
    Approval of the project came under the direct watch of Chris Oynes who was elevated to associate director for the offshore program in 2007 and to Salazar’s discredit he didn’t replace him prior to his approval of the Macondo prospect in March of 2009.