They're Inviting Second, Third, Fourth... Place Now?
Here’s some news that will no doubt raise a few eyebrows and spark a little token “controversy” with the Lefty crowd that loves to label everything Obama-related as “racist.” NASCAR drivers pass on a Presidential invite. Yeah, that should go over well. A bunch of “redneck” “Southern” “white guys” saying nahhh on a trip meet the President at the White House… start the engines on the race-baiting propaganda machine. I’m betting these guys are “Tea Party too.”
NASCAR said Thursday that five drivers – Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart – will not be attending the White House visit due to “schedule conflicts.”
They must be very busy people. Regardless of one’s political views, the president is still the president – and an opportunity to speak with the leader of the free world is a rare and special one.
In full disclosure, I’m a “Southerner.” I’m from and live in the heart of NASCAR country. That said, I’d rather get kicked in stones than be forced to sit and watch a NASCAR race from start-to-finish. In fact, I can’t think of anything in the sports/entertainment world I’d find less appealing. I frequently catch the beginning and end of races – and that’s pretty much it. But living and being from here, I do “get” NASCAR and the passionate following that drives it. It is as much a part of Southern culture as SEC football and fried food. Folks here love them some NASCAR. Period.
Modestly understanding the sport/culture as I think I do, I still don’t purport to have any inside knowledge as to why these guys have decided to skip the trip. I’d assume it probably has something to do with the fact that this White House trip is rather meaningless. These guys “won” absolutely nothing. They represent the NASCAR equivalent of every team that made the playoffs in the NBA, NFL, or MLB. Jimmie Johnson was the champion. They were all first, second, third… losers. Did President Obama invite the Super Bowl runner-up last year? How bout the team that lost in the Wild Card round?
I guess what I’m saying here is I don’t really see the “snub” in any of this. Frankly, I don’t even understand why they were invited. I assume it probably has something to do with the fact that the token Jimmie Johnson Won Again visit was getting a little tired, but beyond that the only other conclusion I can draw is that the president was trying to appeal to the NASCAR voter – Bring a bunch of NASCAR drivers to the White House and hope to score a few more votes in North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Political motivations aside, I’m just not buying the gimmicky nature of the whole thing.
But yes, I understand that this is the “Presidency” and this is the White House. Would I go? Of course I would. Short of getting paid lots of loot for being someplace else, I can’t think of any reason not to go. I think this is the most inept and ridiculous president of my lifetime, but I’d be there in a heartbeat to shake the guy’s hand, pose for a picture, eat his food, and give him an earful that would make him never want to invite me back. Do I think they should have said yes? Probably, but who am I to tell them what to do with their time? And it’s not like these guys are the first “athletes” to “snub” the White House. Every time a team makes their way to D.C. after winning a championship, there is some guy who tries to make a political statement by not attending. Were any of the NASCAR haters out there paying attention to these visits during the Bush Administration?