March 31, 2008
My first thought while watching President Bush stride out toward the mound for Sunday night's first pitch at Nationals Park: "Yup, exactly what I expected. He's getting booed ... a lot."
My second: "Yup, there's the customary strong wave of cheers trying to shame the booers into being more polite. I was counting on those as much as the cherry blossoms."
My third: "I wonder how the newspapers and blogs are going to characterize that greeting?"
As expected, this morning's accounts were all over the board ... A sampling ...
From the Washington Post: "It was Zimmerman, the 23-year-old face of the Nationals franchise, who was awarded the task of handing the ball before the game to President Bush, who, at 8:13 p.m. strode onto the field to a near-equal mixture of cheers and boos, climbed the pitcher's mound and threw the ceremonial first pitch — a ball, high and tight — into the glove of Nationals Manager Manny Acta."
From Nats320: "The most anticipated was The Presidential First Pitch. To most everyone's credit — George W. Bush was not overly booed. In fact — there were far more cheers than jeers ... A Tradition Deep Rooted in Washington's History was revived tonight. Hopefully, for every baseball season opener to come in DC — The President will return."
From The Curly W: "President Bush was booed severely when he went out to the mound, and briefly, he looked a little shook. The ESPN people dubbed out the crowd quickly, but the original boos were VERY NOTICEABLE!"
From Political Lore: "President George W. Bush was greeted Sunday by thousands of resounding boos while being introduced at the Nationals Park in Washington, DC. Walking to the field from the tunnel, the booing did not let up."
For what it's worth, I messaged our own Steve Henson, who was at the game, and asked him his opinion. Steve's response was that there was a definitive mixture and that no one with any interest in being accurate or objective would describe it more one way over the other.
But feel free to judge for yourself. The 700 Level has video.