Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
November 7, 2008

The President-Elect wasted no time kicking Republicans when they're down with his petty, graceless crack today (for which he had to apologize) at the expense of 87-year-old Nancy Reagan, last seen leaving the hospital a few weeks back with a broken pelvis:

Obama was asked at his press conference today if he'd spoken to all the "living" presidents.

"I have spoken to all of them who are living," he responded. "I didn't want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about doing any seances."

As Ben Smith notes, Obama's left-wing talking points on this one weren't even accurate. But hey, I guess sneering at the Reagans is "in" again.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 11:36 PM | Politics 2008 | Comments (46) | TrackBack (0)

Oh my. Spare me.

Posted by: Mike at November 7, 2008 11:50 PM

Wow, you REALLY need a thicker skin.

Posted by: Nicky at November 8, 2008 12:07 AM

If Obama wants to be nasty while he takes his victory lap, he could pick on someone besides an old woman who has done nothing to him.

Posted by: The Crank at November 8, 2008 12:10 AM

Personally, I'd have gone with an astrologer joke.

Posted by: Ted at November 8, 2008 12:15 AM

Personally, I'd have gone with an astrologer joke.

Posted by: Ted at November 8, 2008 12:15 AM

Personally, I'd have gone with an astrologer joke.

Posted by: Ted at November 8, 2008 12:15 AM

Be careful, the Crank is a delicate flower.

Posted by: Magrooder at November 8, 2008 12:38 AM

Apparently our new President has no class.

Posted by: feeblemind at November 8, 2008 1:36 AM

Thankfully he called and apologized. That was the right thing to do. he will plenty of these bush league mistake, all rookies do. In all seriousness Mike, do you think that was the least bit appropriate? Presidential?

Posted by: dave at November 8, 2008 6:19 AM

"President-elect Obama Transition Team Spokesperson Stephanie Cutter said: “President-elect Barack Obama called Nancy Reagan today to apologize for the careless and off handed remark he made during today’s press conference. The President-elect expressed his admiration and affection for Mrs. Reagan that so many Americans share and they had a warm conversation.”

Well done, let's move on.

Posted by: dave at November 8, 2008 6:21 AM

How dare he say anything bad about the wife of Jesus II?

Posted by: JB at November 8, 2008 8:23 AM

Reading their comments here, one can see why Democrats think Ayers is just a mainstream Democrat -- he is. The hateful nastiness that has marked Ayers life is unremarkable among Democrats.

Posted by: stan at November 8, 2008 9:17 AM

I'm not trying to pile on PE Obama and tried to watch that press conf. with an open mind, but it was a pretty lousy press conf. for someone who is supposedly so charismatic and smooth. Tasteless jokes, lots of "uhhhs" and long pauses, complete evasions of questions. Certainly he'll improve but it wasn't a great start.

Posted by: per14 at November 8, 2008 9:33 AM

A few days back I said the man should be allowed to let his guard down for a few days before the real work begins -- but this was pretty dumb. Hopefully he regains some of his trademark discipline soon -- before he starts making jokes about how old John McCain is. That would be funny -- but not appropriate.

Posted by: Patrick at November 8, 2008 9:47 AM

Eh, to me it's already forgotten. A slip of the tongue, something that we've come to expect a lot from the prez after the last 8 years.

What's telling is the the messiah couldn't make it out of his first press conference after the election without making two gaffes (wrongly smearing Nancy Reagan, plus the placard denoting an office that doesn't exist....get your ego in check, Barry. Those of us willing to give you a chance can get tired of such things rather quickly).

I expected that from Biden. Maybe he's not the one he was waiting for.

Posted by: RW at November 8, 2008 9:55 AM

In all seriousness Mike, do you think that was the least bit appropriate? Presidential?

I think it was a minor faux pas if we're gonna give it more than three seconds thought. He apologized for it.

But to read a tough-guy GOPer getting the vapors because poor old Nancy Reagan was on the receiving end of a lame joke is laughable, no?

Posted by: Mike at November 8, 2008 10:34 AM

Obama was covering up for a slip in his prior sentence where he said he had,uh, um, spoken um to all the past Presidents. Um, those that are living.

I don't think he meant to demean Mrs. Reagan but it was a boneheaded slip.

And I don't think I have heard a more boring, humorless press conference. Let's hope to see improvement there.

Posted by: spongeworthy at November 8, 2008 10:48 AM

Instead of a dog, he could give his daughters Jimmy Carter's rabbit!

Posted by: Greg Schreiber at November 8, 2008 10:49 AM

Crank you're being petty just like the Palin towel critics. I didnt see Republicans like yourself come out of the woodwork when McCain cracked that Chelsea Clinton was the illegitimate daughter of Janet Reno. Politicians are human, they make mistakes, and Obama called Nancy to apologize. She did consult an astrologer after all so he wasnt that far off the mark, but nonetheless he caught himself and apologized. Get a life.

Posted by: seth soothsayer at November 8, 2008 11:24 AM

seth, I did not have a blog in the 90s. (My main memory of that McCain joke was reading a Mark Steyn column that led with it as an example of why Steyn thought McCain shouldn't be the nominee in 2000).

Posted by: The Crank at November 8, 2008 11:30 AM

In OB's defense, it was a dumb question and the response was just his flip way of mocking it -- "have you consulted with any LIVING presidents?"

But when you're president elect you have to watch what you say. I am confident he'll learn quickly.

Posted by: Patrick at November 8, 2008 12:09 PM

Obama's comment was in poor taste, and it's good he apologized for it almost immediately. To me, that's the end of the story. It's not, IMO, part of a pattern of saying tasteless, meanspirited things (which, incidentally, his recent opponent has a much greater history of).

Posted by: Jerry at November 8, 2008 1:08 PM

Obama made fun of himself in the same interview. While talking about the breed of the new pet dog that will be going with him to the White House the President Elect speculated that it would probably be a mutt, just like himself.

Crank, please don't take things out of contest. The mutt joke and the Nancy Reagan seance joke were part of the same interview. You could look it up!

Perhaps I will vote for a Republican again when Bob Jones University changes its name to Strom Thurmond U. Don't hold your breath.

Posted by: Jeff at November 8, 2008 2:20 PM

It wasn't a joke, it was a gaffe.
Put down the kool aid.

Posted by: RW at November 8, 2008 3:46 PM

Yeah, that mutt joke had them rolling in the aisles. I could almost feel Obama's assmebled press claque looking around nervously at each other like, "Is it racist to laugh at that?"

Except it wasn't funny anyway.

Posted by: spongeworthy at November 8, 2008 4:43 PM

I heard Obama picked his nose yesterday, too. What a complete and utter pig. We should impeach him. Oh, wait, we don't have the votes because the American people just repudiated everything we stand for the last two elections. Sorry!

Posted by: DumpGOPer at November 8, 2008 5:33 PM

Well, maybe you should remember Crank, he has to bury his grandmother, as in the woman who raised him. So he tries to make a joke, not a great one. I guess Jon Stewart is right. He will be tougher to make jokes about. Smart people who actually listen to others probably can't tell good jokes. But the state of the Union you Republicans left us is no laughing matter.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at November 8, 2008 6:19 PM

DumpGOPer - Yes, Obama decisively won the election. You know, like Bush in 2004, and Bush's father in 1988, and Jimmy Carter in 1976. All of whom produced permanent majorities, no? Forget your history at your peril.

The wheel can turn. Only one president since the death of FDR has been successful enough that his party won 3 straight national elections: Ronald Reagan. If Obama governs as a centrist and, frankly, grows up, he may be as relatively successful as Clinton. If. (He may still, like Clinton, need a GOP Congress to get him there).

Posted by: The Crank at November 8, 2008 6:57 PM

So you liberals/Democrats won the election. Congratulations. Now show some class and also start looking at your guy w/o the rose colored glasses. He is still a person with no experience. He still is a person with radical friends. He still is a person who is long on talk and short on accomplishments.

For the country's sake let's hope the job makes the man because all I see now is a windbag.

Posted by: Lee at November 8, 2008 7:21 PM

But the state of the Union you Republicans left us is no laughing matter.

Never have I seen a group be given less responsibility for managing things than the Democratic congress that we've had since Jan, 2007.

Darryl, being THAT hyperpartisan is not constructive and brings any sort of attempts of debating into the realm of "is it worth my time?"

We should impeach him.

I can guarantee you that "we" who didn't support Obama have a template of how NOT to react to losing an election. Don't expect us to follow your example. Besides, what are you, nine?

Posted by: RW at November 8, 2008 7:43 PM

Just another reminder why politicians shouldn't try to be comedians.

Not intentionally, anyway.

Posted by: BD57 at November 8, 2008 8:51 PM

We've come to the point where there is no objective, honest political discourse anymore. If Obama appoints some milquetoast, inoffensive chief of staff then Obama's opponents would launch into a "wimp" meme, if Obama appoints Emanuel he isnt "post partisan". If Obama plays it safe and humor free as he did during the GE campaign then he's a bore, if he cracks a joke like McCain is wont to do then he's a boor. Palin is fresh, mavericky, exciting at 44, but Obama is inexperienced and naive at 47. And the same goes on the other side of the aisle too....Biden is experienced, McCain is too much the insider. And I think we have to give Crank a mulligan here, he's still licking his wounds from a tough election, but too often on this site there really is a failure to promote the conservative -- or from the peanut gallery liberal -- point of view while maintaining objectivity about things big and small. That's not a call for kumbya, but for reason to prevail. I disagree with you on just about everything Crank, but keep your chin up. Obama's not quite the miscreant you paint him to be, at least on a personal level.

Posted by: dante at November 8, 2008 10:40 PM

Crank, I'm lost on this one. I really don't understand how anyone can view this as a swipe at Republicans while they are down as opposed to an offhand remark that's hardly worth a page of print given our economic and security problems. The only person with any beef would be Nancy Reagan.

I'm staying neutral on what I think of Obama until he actually starts governing next year. I'm getting the impression that Republicans are going to nitpick on Obama no matter what he does or says. It's all about creating an argument for 2010.

Posted by: MVH at November 8, 2008 11:17 PM

Obama's history shows him to be a petty and nasty guy, so the Reagan cut shouldn't have surprised anyone--it's typical. Right now he's stepping into a job for which he is unprepared by experience or temperament, supported mainly by his hubris. We can expect a lot of gaffes, in which he will, no doubt, be well seconded by his VP.

Perhaps some think he'll be able to control Putin and Ahmedinejad with snide remarks--but if not, what in his background should give us any confidence that he'll be able to handle himself when dealing with the tough guys of the world?

Posted by: Dai Alanye at November 9, 2008 12:27 AM

If Obama governs as a centrist and, frankly, grows up, he may be as relatively successful as Clinton. If. (He may still, like Clinton, need a GOP Congress to get him there).


If Obama governs as a centrist

What else would he govern as? He supported -- along with McCain, Bush, Cheney, Pelosi, and everyone else in the mainstream -- the loathsome Paulson bailout plan.

He nominated DC insider, and Wall St friend, Rahm Emanuel to be chief of staff. He's rumored to be looking at Timothy Geithner, head of the NY Fed to take over at Treasury.

I don't like the fact that Obama will continue being a best friend of Wall St., but it hardly makes him a "liberal," or a "radical."

grows up

What does that mean? What has he done that's immature?

he may be as relatively successful as Clinton

The guy you hate? That's an odd comparison. I was no Clinton fan, that's for sure, but I have few doubts that Obama -- a centrist Democrat -- will govern much as Clinton did.

He may still, like Clinton, need a GOP Congress to get him there

No doubt a mixed government is preferable to a one party government, but this is crazy talk, Crank. The GOPers were voted out in 2006 & 2008, because the American people got sick of the lying and the incompetence. You'll have your chance in 2010, but for now, I'd love to see the Republican causus at least try to cooperate.

Posted by: Mike at November 9, 2008 11:31 AM

My reason for reacting to Obama's comment is that it was both unnecessary and showed no class. If Bush had said this, the media/liberals would be all over him. But Obama gets another free pass.

When will he start being held accountable for anything? Jeremiah Wright, Ayers, his aunt, non-disclosure of past records, etc; it goes on and on. When do you liberals start to actually get YOUR guy to shape up? Are you going to let him be given free pass after free pass just like the Clintons, Gore, Kerry, edwards, Peliosi, Reid, and all the rest? Don't you care that your chosen one is acting inappropriately?

Obama is still a sitting Senator, so is Biden. Their party controls both houses of Congress. If he had any ideas/leadership abilities, he would start using them now to attack issues. He could get his party to convene Congress and get going now. He does not have to wait until 1/20/09. Oh, but that would require him to actually do something. Sorry, he doesn't do that!

Posted by: Lee at November 9, 2008 11:31 AM

What does that mean? What has he done that's immature?


You were kidding with this question I hope.

Follow this link. It discusses Obama's habit of slyly giving the middle finger during speeches when mentioning his opponents. Looks cool in 7th grade but not exactly presidential.

Separately, regarding the president-elect in general:
All we can do is pray he does not act in a manner that all the evidence would lead us to believe. However, my guess is we will have many occasions over the next few years to quote/paraphrase Denny Green: "They are who we thought they were."

Personally, I'm giving him the normal honeymoon period. If something warrants comment then I'll post on it. The stupid comment about the former first lady is newsworthy only in that it dispels the silly notion that he is something different or transcends politics as usual. He is a JAP (just another politician). More to the left than most. More open in his support of evil (abortion on demand. Less experienced than most who aspire for that office. And so on . . . but in the end he's just another crooked politician.

Posted by: largebill at November 9, 2008 1:39 PM

The Nancy Reagan "joke" was telling for a guy whose only apparent strength is his ability to talk well.

Posted by: John Salmon at November 9, 2008 3:58 PM


You've got to pace yourself or you're going to go nuts. You are facing 8 years of President Obama. You're going to have plenty of legitimate gripes. This isn't one of them.

Posted by: MKD at November 10, 2008 2:16 AM


1st of all, let's hope it's only 4 years. A one and done like Carter would be nice.

Secondly, we can gripe and pick on the Chosen One for every little thing if we want. The left picks on Bush about everything, so that is the standard we can keep. We arn't going to let up until he is out of office!

As the Democrats/Liberals do, when you lose you can whine all the time about everything! Oh, that's right, when your are a Democrats/Liberals you can whine when you win too!

Having fun yet?

Posted by: Lee at November 10, 2008 7:18 AM

Wow. You guys are funny. I think you'll all be pretty embarrassed in a couple weeks for not keeping even a little of this bitterness inside.

I know you're bummed that the GOP lost. That's certainly the correct reaction for a Republican. No one begrudges you that.

But these sour grapes (I mean, really. Look at Lee's comment) are sad from intelligent adults. By all means, keep it up if you wish -- it'll only make it easier to make you look bad when we debate on some serious topic in a few months -- but you may wanna re-think it.

Posted by: Mike at November 10, 2008 8:02 AM

Gosh, Mike, who is this person pretending to be high-browed thinker using your login? After all, here's what you typed on your own site:

But in an hour or so, I'm voting for Obama. Put more clearly, in an hour or so, I'm voting against McCain, against Palin, against Bush & Cheney & Rove, against O'Reilly & Kristol & Van Susterin & Malkin. Against Robertson & Dobson. Against Scalia. Against the ghost of Ronald Reagan. I'm voting against them. Fuck them.

I would ask you to tell us more about how "it'll only make it easier to make you look bad when we debate on some serious topic in a few months", but I'm still reeling at the notion of someone who thinks Greta Van Susteren is a right-wing lacky as being ignorant of their own delusions. And then, assuming that they're in a position to judge the merits of what quantifies serious debate versus irrational rhetoric.

Sorry. Can't. Take. You. Seriously.

Or, to quote you: "I think you'll all be pretty embarrassed in a couple weeks for not keeping even a little of this bitterness inside."

And by "in a couple weeks" I

Nice try, though.

Posted by: RW at November 10, 2008 11:23 AM

Bitter? Yes, I am bitter. But so what? I have heard you liberals just spit out the most vicious venom towards us Conservatives for the last few years. Your irrational BDS, etc. I have had enough.

So now you are in control. Now you are for bipartisanship. Just weeks ago it was stick it to Bush, McCain, Plain, and all the Republicans. You want us to play nicey-nice with you now that you are in control so you can feel all warm and fuzzy about yourselves. Well I am not buying it.

I plan to hound Obama like a old dog howling at the moon. If he makes one slip up (like the Nancy Regan comment), he is getting it right at him. To quote Tom Petty "I won't back down!"

Posted by: Lee at November 10, 2008 6:12 PM

Gosh Lee, you play one tough fucker on the internets, with all that bitterness, and howling, and refusing to back down.
I bet it's disappointing when you look in the mirror and see a Jonah Goldberg clone with bigger tits than your wife.
The comment section of this blog is becoming daily reading- watching you Keyboard Kommandos become more and more unglued is addictive.

Posted by: rs at November 11, 2008 2:32 AM

RW - Yes, I "typed" that on my own site. Before the election. Explaining why I was voting for a candidate (Obama) that I'm not crazy about.

Your point is?

Posted by: Mike at November 11, 2008 7:18 AM

....obviously above your pay grade, to steal a line from your guy.

Have a nice life, Mike. Pearls, swine, all that....

Posted by: RW at November 11, 2008 9:12 AM
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