Put Me Out At The Ballgame

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If you haven't seen it yet, there's plenty of video of VP Dick Cheney getting the Bronx cheer (Anacostia cheer?) when throwing out the first ball at the Washington Nationals' home game. The booing has gotten the expected spin—Cheney's the most unpopular guy in the administration, all their poll numbers are down, etc.

But maybe that's too simple. Maybe it's just pointless to have the president (or his bumbling sidekick) throw out the ball at DC games if said president is a Republican. When he's in DC, a Republican president is in the heart of the part of America that most hates his guts. In 2004, DC gave George W. Bush only 9% of its votes—around 21,000. Almost 10 times as many Washingtonians voted for John Kerry, his "issues" with ball-throwing having been clearly established. And even though the Nationals depend on the Maryland and DC burbs to fill out the stands, that hardly fixes it. Virginia's Arlington County went for Kerry over Bush by 36 points. Maryland's Montgomery County and Prince George's County went for Kerry by 33 and 64 points, respectively.

Basically, unless the Republican party starts winning vast numbers of liberal or black votes, they're not going to be able to send the presidents into DC ballparks without getting booed. Maybe this is what Dick Morris was going on about.

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  1. And even though the Nationals depend on the Maryland and DC burbs to fill out the stands, that hardly fixes it. Virginia’s Arlington County went for Kerry over Bush by 36 points. Maryland’s Montgomery County and Prince George’s County went for Kerry by 33 and 64 points, respectively.

    True enough, though people do come from further away than that. My girlfriend and I went to a game at RFK last year, and we live in ullta-ultra-conservative Lancaster County, PA. That said, we’d be likely to boo the veep, too.

  2. Somehow, I don’t think that DC-area black people have the disposable income to spend on baseball games.

    I mean, the White Sox are extremely popular in the neighborhoods south of 35th Street, but for some reason those fans aren’t exactly at the game every day.

  3. unless the Republican party starts winning vast numbers of liberal or black votes, they’re not going to be able to send the presidents into DC ballparks

    Or NAACP meetings. The President is criticized for not addressing them, where in fact he would be as warmly welcomed as Joe Lieberman at a HAMAS barbeque.

  4. Somehow, I don’t think that DC-area black people have the disposable income to spend on baseball games.

    Wow, that is a rather extraordinary generalization. The DC area has a large black middle-class (and above) of educated professionals, so your stereotyped view is just wrong. That isn’t to say there are not many poor blacks in DC, but to make the leap from that to “DC-area black people” are too poor to go to baseball games is completely unjustified.

  5. Wow, that is a rather extraordinary generalization.

    I think the word you are looking for is “stereotype.” Possibly even “prejudice.”

  6. Booing politicians at ballgames is as American as, well, bad baseball in DC.

  7. Another thing to point out is that DC has become increasingly gentrified in recent years. I think its about 50% white now, and as whites vote more than blacks, most of those DC Kerry votes came from white liberals, not blacks.

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