If you have not watched it, just Google "President Bush's Opening Pitch at Yankee Stadium After 9-11 [High Quality]" and it will show up where you can open it. Even if you've seen it, take a moment and re-live it. No, George W. Bush isn't perfect, but he surely was the President. As I watched this, I felt that rush of pride about my nation when we were in some ways at our pinnacle of patriotism. He was totally unpretentious, respectful of those on both sides of the aisle, but unbending in battle with them. When he stood on that mound and threw a fine strike, my eyes were filled with tears, not because he threw a strike but because I was proud of what he represented.
This is a simple little thing, really, just throwing out a first pitch, but watch it for what is happening in Yankee Stadium and how a stadium full of people responded to our President. They weren't brought in as partisans. They were baseball fans. They were not bussed in to make a backdrop for President Bush. He just showed up, quite unannounced, and walked out on the field. It is a magical moment.
Find one of those moments involving President Obama. It certainly wasn't his acceptance speech in Denver where he was in front of the Roman columns. It wasn't when he bowed in front of the King of Saudi Arabia or when he snubbed the Queen of England, the Dali Lama, or other great leaders who might dare stand up to him and his extreme policies. No, I can't feel anything but disdain when he makes his attempt at grand entrances. They just don't work. They are totally contrived. Even when he has a contingent of military in a forced fit situation where they have to be there to be spoken to by their Commander in Chief, it is easy to sense the necessary politeness, but the lack of any sincere respect or enthusiasm.
If this little moment in the history of baseball and GW Bush moves you, then Google "President Bush gives Bullhorn Speech from atop firetruck at Ground Zero." That one will also take you back to what it's like to be proud of your President.
Can Mitt Romney, if elected our President, give me back such a thrilling moment? I truly believe he can!
© Colonel Curtis D. Dale, PhD USAF (Ret), APRIL 2012, Parker, Colorado