Bush looks forward to being a quiet sports spectator again
WASHINGTON – In between packing up to move back to Texas and trying to save the U.S. automotive industry, President George W. Bush squeezed in 40 minutes to talk extensively about one of his greatest loves — sports.
In an interview with a Washington Post sports writer, the former baseball team owner said the financial meltdown would likely cascade down to major league sports, noting that they tend to thrive on regular attendees.
“If you’re unable to get the American family to come to your park more than once a year, you’re going to have a difficult time when it comes to your attendance. Of course this will exacerbate the problem,” Bush said according to the Post.
He made it clear he would like to become a quiet spectator after being in the limelight for nearly eight years and had no intention of returning to the baseball world even as commissioner of Major League Baseball.
“I’m looking forward to getting off the stage,” Bush said. “I have done my duty to my country. I have given it my all. It’s now President-elect Obama’s time. I have had enough of the spotlight.”
He also told the newspaper that he believed more was being done now to rid the sports world of steroids, an issue he raised during his 2004 State of the Union address, but noted that it could get harder to detect them in the future. He admitted surprise when allegations surfaced that pitcher Roger Clemens had been linked to banned performance-enhancing drugs.
“It seems like they are making great strides. [But] are they going to invent detection devices to take care of the next round of exotics?” Bush said in the newspaper interview.
While Bush adheres to a strict coat and tie policy in the Oval Office (including his staff), he certainly did not mind when the college women’s lacrosse champions visited the White House in flip-flops despite the stir it caused.
“I thought it was cool,” he said.
Bush, who could talk sports all day long, jokingly ended the interview after 40 minutes because Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was waiting to see him, according to the report.
– Photo credit: Reuters/Jason Reed (Bush throws out the ceremonial first pitch earlier this year at the Washington Nationals game.)