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Friday, January 27, 2012

Meeting the President

In times of political conflict, personal meetings with the president can be fraught with controversy. Jeremy Gordon writes at The Wall Street Journal:
When the Boston Bruins visited the White House Monday to celebrate their 2011 Stanley Cup victory, they were without perhaps their most important player of their inspired championship run: goaltender Tim Thomas, who elected to stay at home rather than get an official commendation from President Barack Obama
He isn’t the first athlete to snub Washington D.C., or even the first within the last year. In September, a handful of NASCAR stars like Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards wereunable to attend a White House ceremony in their honor, citing scheduling contacts. Last fall, Hall of Famer Dan Hampton declined to go after his 1985 Chicago Bears championship team was invited for a long-due celebration, saying “I’m not a fan of the guy in the White House.” And Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen went on vacation instead of visiting the White House of George W. Bush after his team won in 2005, though he never made any explicit political statement about it.
Thomas is, however, the most high-profile athlete to take such action.  He explained himself in a statement:
"I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People.

This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government.

Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.

This is the only public statement I will be making on this topic. TT"
Meanwhile, another meeting with the president proved difficult. AP reports: 
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer came to greet President Barack Obama upon his arrival outside Phoenix Wednesday. What she got was a critique of how he is depicted in her book. The two leaders could be seen engaged in an intense conversation.