White House Ropes Red Sox Into Health Care Debate
The World Series, Major League Baseball’s grandest stage, is insulated from politics, right? Not anymore.
“Moments ago, President Obama finished speaking at Faneuil Hall here in Boston. And while it’s home to Big Papi and my beloved Red Sox, it’s also home to the birthplace of health reform in America,” a White House missive from David Simas (sent with the subject line, “I know Game 6 starts soon, but:”) begins.
The reason for President Barack Obama making his Wednesday remarks on health care at Faneuil Hall is fairly obvious: On April 12, 2006, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Obama’s 2012 Republican opponent, signed the commonwealth’s health law, the spiritual godfather of Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Among the supporters of the Massachusetts law present at the 2006 signing was the late Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the long-time champion of health care access who underscored that law’s bipartisan support.
Perhaps it was inevitable it would come to this, as the Fall Classic has become a magnet for many causes, among them veteran support groups and cancer awareness. It might have felt natural for Simas and the White House communications folks to send their missive imploring people to drop what they were doing on their way to Fenway and listen to the stories of people who now have health insurance:
“I know that Game 6 of the World Series is on soon, but this is important:
For baseball fans, though, it’s another commercial to wade through. On the other hand, can it be any worse than listening to the pre-game blather on Fox or ESPN?