George Washington felt that the President of the United States should be visible to the people and undertook many tours of the new nation to meet the people that fought for a new freedom.
Considering that the role of President during his time was more ceremonial as Congress was trying to determine how we should go forth.
The ceremonail role of the Presidency is more then just meeting foriegn dignataries in Washington or abroad, conducting State dinners, and meeting civilians along with our men and women in uniform.
It seems during these partisan times, everyone seems to be attacking a President for still holding ceremonial obligations during controversial times. And leave it to the Media to create the controversy over the littlest nugget of intrigue.
If you are a NASCAR fan, you would've heard about 4 of the sports top stars having "schedule conflicts" and not being able to meet with President Obama in the next few weeks when NASCAR will hold their race in Richland.
So the Media has taken upon itself to create a stir and thought out loud that maybe it's a political stance these stars were taking.
Here's the deal with NASCAR, a drivers time off the track is so burdened with sponsor meet-ups, test track times, charity visits and so on, that trying to find an opening for anything extra is tight.
So when NASCAR and the White House decided upon a scheduled date for all to meet, well many couldn't break the already scheduled moment.
The only controversy here is that the Con-Opinionators in the Media feel that Pres "O" shouldn't be meeting with anyone other then CEO's and Economic genius during the current economic down turn.
But if Pres "O" canceled a ceremonial date with the Boy Scouts of America, those same Con-Opinionators will claim he is un-american and against the Boy Scouts.
On June 30, 1950, President Truman ordered American forces into Korea after the Communist North advanced South. After he made that order he still kept his ceremonial duties and met with a group of Overseas Employees from the State Department.
Was he wrong for still committing to that duty after sending American troops into a conflict?
President George W Bush met with close to 35+ Sports champions in his 8 years in office, that is not counting all the other ceremonies that were held.
On August 3, 2001, Pres "W" met with Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. Armstrong was the last Sports winner to meet with Pres "W" until Dec 31, 2001, when he met with the MLB Champs Arizona Diamondbacks.
During that span of 4 months, the devistation of Sept 11 happened and soon he gave the order to go into Afghanistan. Should he not have met with the MLB Champs while troops were fighting a war?
Or how about March 19, 2003 to May 1, 2003? That was the timeframe of the OIraq Invasion. Pres "W" met with the NCAA Champs on Feb 24, 2003- that would be the build up to the invasion- and met with Commander in Chief winners the Air Force Academy on May 16, 2003. Should he not have kept himself occupied with both Afghanistan and Iraq?
Many consider February 2007 as the beginning of the House Bubble breaking and by October 2007, US Secretary of TReasury called the burst "the most significant risk to our economy." Now those words sound horrific and Pres "W" should've locked himself in the Executive Mansion and worked hard to stop the crash.
But no, he met with:
2006 NBA Champs Miami Heat (Feb 27,07)
2007 Super Champs Indy Colts (April 23, 07)
2007 NCAA Champsionship Team (June 18,07)
2006 & 2007 NCAA Sports Champs (Sept 21, 07)
all while the economy started to tank!!
When Pres "W" signed the $700 billion TARP Bank Bailout on October 2, 2008, he still met with the 2008 NCAA Sports Champs on Nov 12. Shouldn't he have been watching what was going on with that $700 billion?
The point being, the President, no matter their political affliation does have other duties to perform.
Imagine if a President refused to meet with everyone and anyone. It’s an honor to meet a President, no matter who you are or what you do.
And yes, as these 4 NASCAR stars have said they cannot meet Pres "O" due to scheduling conflicts, there have been those that have made it known they have no need to meet the President
Two examples come right from my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers.
After winning the 2005 Super Bowl, then linebacker Joey Porter was asked if he had anything he would say to Pres "W." Porter answered;
"I'm looking forward to it. Like I said, I got something to tell him, too. I don't like the way things are running right now. I feel like he gotta give me some of my money back, so I got something to tell Bush"
Word got back to Pres "W" and during the ceremony, "W" had some fun with the qoute by Porter, as did the press.
After winning the 2008 Super Bowl, linebacker James Harrison stated he wasn't going to make the trip to meet Pres "O," because had the Arizona Cardinals had won, "He (Obama) would have invited Arizona."
NASCAR drivers are some of the classiest sports figures in professional sports. They appreciate the fans more then anyone. They appreciate those that sign their paychecks and the sponsors that support their team.
They live up to their obligations, unlike some pro athletes that would sports camps for kids and never show.
Jeff Burton, driver of the #31 Catepillar, wondered out loud that when people are debating about NASCAR's visit with Pres "O" it only shows the partisan divide within our country.
"Ten years ago, after 9-11, this country was unified. This country was together," he said. "Today, we're sitting here talking as if someone, for political reasons, is going or not going to the White House. And we wonder why this country is in trouble. We can point the finger and blame all the people in Washington. Well, maybe we need to look in the damn mirror a little bit. Really. It's our country."
No Mr. Burton, it shows how the Media spewing partisan stupidity over the fiber optic lines by creating debate over harmless Presidential duty that goes back to the beginning of our nation.
Whose gonna tell George Washington he was wrong that the President should be visible to the nation?
Todd Morgan Kelly