The Washington Nationals baseball team has a tradition of “racing presidents”; during a pause between innings during the game, giant-headed mascots resembling George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt run races. A recurring gag was that every time, some bad luck befell Teddy Roosevelt; he never won until October 3, 2012, as the team won its record 98th game.
But that ballpark tradition is going to be changing soon. Coming next year: a fifth president.
The Nats set the stage on Wednesday by announcing on Twitter “a major Presidential announcement” at NatsFest this Saturday. And in case there were any doubt about what the news would be, the team made it official on Thursday with this Tweet: “The rumors are true – there will be a #5thPresident racing in 2013! But who will it be? Find out at #NatsFest!”
The Post speculates that it will be Franklin Roosevelt; he does have a monument on the Mall the way Washington, Lincoln, and Jefferson do (and Roosevelt’s is not far away, on Roosevelt Island in the Potomac).
Could it be Obama? Wouldn’t this be the ultimate pinnacle of Obama hype, to become a mascot, joining four of the country’s most iconic past leaders? Wouldn’t this add momentum to the already circulating argument that Obama should be added to Mount Rushmore?
Of course, in the vast realm of mascots, it seems a little odd to select formerly living public figures or currently living ones. For example, the race begins with a video of the mascots running through the city; I suppose we should be glad that they didn’t film Lincoln running past Ford’s Theater. If the pick turns out to be JFK, I think it’s clear they’ll never be able to depict him suddenly falling.