Far be it from me to comment on American domestic politics (in fact, I won't, I'll just dwell on the quirky "...And finally" stuff) but I think that Barack Obama's ceremonial pitch at the MLB All-star game last week merits a little mention.
In front of 46,760 fans at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Obama followed 80 years of presidential tradition by throwing the first pitch at the game. Unfortunately, a basketball ringer he may be; a pitcher he ain't.
Obama jogged to the pitcher's mound wearing a Chicago White Sox jacket – of course, his local team – and bit his lip in concentration as he wound up to pitch. Perhaps fearful of allowing the ball to bounce before it reached home plate, Obama launched the ball high into the sky and St Louis Cardinals player Albert Pujols was forced to strain forward to catch it at ankle height, sparing Mr. President's blushes. Obama celebrated by firmly pumping his fist, but really – who was he kidding?
The US media seem to have looked upon it kindly, and I know that we don't really do baseball here in the UK (or the Netherlands) - but does a catch like THIS suggest a decent pitch?
I THINK NOT. I'm not entirely sure about the geeky jeans and trainers either, but that's another story.
Be it nerves, lack of practice or some new throwing style that EVERYONE will be copying in a few years, Obama didn't shower himself in his usual glory this time. But then that's kind of reassuring - after all, the guy's only human.