Tales from the Trail

Ann Romney’s horse, trainer headed to Olympics

A horse partly owned by First Lady candidate Ann Romney will be representing the red, white and blue in London this summer after almost certainly qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team in dressage, “the highest expression of horse training.”

Rafalca, a 15-year-old Oldenburg mare, and California-based trainer Jan Ebeling came in third in the U.S. Equestrian Federation National Dressage Championships in Gladstone, New Jersey, on Saturday. That almost guarantees the pair a spot on the team, which has five dressage spots.

Mrs. Romney, the wife of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, was reportedly at the qualifying event as her husband campaigned on the backroads of Pennsylvania. The couple embraced on the tarmac upon arrival in Scranton, PA, on Friday, before Ann Romney sped away in an SUV and Romney boarded his campaign bus.

Mrs. Romney credits riding with helping her to manage her symptoms from multiple sclerosis, which she was diagnosed with in 1998, and has said she sometimes slips away from the rigors of the trail to ride and relax. She has competed in amateur and professional dressage competitions.

“Riding exhilarated me; it gave me a joy and a purpose. When I was so fatigued that I couldn’t move, the excitement of going to the barn and getting my foot in the stirrup would make me crawl out of bed,” Romney told the Los Angeles Times this year.

United States 0-2 in world sports arena

The United States has now lost out on two huge world sporting events in the past two years. And in each instance to first-time winners.

It may be an unintended consequence of the fight against terrorism. The very security policies aimed at protecting the United States from attack, might be working to bench it in contests to host world sporting events due to some concerns that foreign fans, players, even officials may have trouble entering the United States for the games. SOCCER/WORLD

FIFA awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, the smallest country ever to host the soccer finals,  over competitors Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States.

Obama Olympics Ouch!

So. What happened?

President Barack Obama dashed overnight to Copenhagen, waved the flag, praised everyone in sight, and came home with Nothing, Nada, Naught, Zero, Zip, Zilch (couldn’t find the Danish word or would have thrown that in too).

OLYMPICS-VOTE/CHICAGOThe Olympics Oracle, after much fumbling with the envelope, read the winner and Rio de Janeiro scooped up the 2016 Summer Games.

Chicago — the hometown for Obama, his wife, and close advisers like David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel — was left out in the cold, not even making it to the T2 (Top Two).

Obama as Jedi knight? George Lucas knew it all along

If you’re one of those folks suspicious that maybe, just maybe, President Barack Obama is a Jedi knight, the photos from the White House lawn Wednesday must have been eye-opener.

OBAMA/OLYMPICSThere he stood, white shirt and tie, brandishing a blue light saber like a true Jedi master.

Speculation has been rife in certain circles. After all, with former Vice President Dick Cheney dubbed “Darth Vader,” people were bound to look for other politicians able to tap the power of the Force.

Obama brings the Olympics to the White House

OBAMA/OLYMPICSPresident Obama deeply disappointed his hometown Chicago when he announced that he would not go to Copenhagen next month to personally make the city’s case for hosting the 2016 Olympics, so he and first lady Michelle Obama, who is going in his stead, on Wednesday brought the Olympics to the White House instead.

Former Olympic and paralympic athletes, Chicago officials and local schoolchildren attended the event on the White House lawn, where the president and first lady both spoke and watched judo and gymnastic demonstrations. The president even joined in with some of the athletes, earning a gentle jibe from his wife.

“You should have seen the president in there fencing,” she said. “It was pathetic, but he passed the baton really well.”

Do Americans have ‘Obama fatigue?’

CHICAGO – Are the magazine cover stories on Barack Obama and the blanket coverage of him on television and in newspapers creating voter “fatigue” with the candidate?

A Pew poll released this week suggests the Democratic presidential candidate may be overexposed and Obama himself did not disagree when asked about it on his campaign plane on Thursday.rtr20kqt.jpg

Forty-eight percent of voters in the Pew survey said they have been “hearing too much” about Obama. By contrast, only 26 percent said they had heard too much about McCain.