The President Talks Shop, Sports, and Service

By Caitlin Taylor

Jun 25, 2009 1:18pm

ABC News’ Sunlen Miller reports: The Obama family pitched in this morning at a community service event, at Fort McNair, filling backpacks for children of service men and women. “Serving our country is not just something that we should expect our members of our armed forces to do,” President Obama said, “That’s something that we should expect all of us as citizens to do.” The event was among the many that the members of the administration participated in this week kicking off the first week of their summer volunteerism initiative, “United We Serve.”

The Obama family formed as assembly line with members of Congress to stuff back packs with books, pudding, cereal, milk in small boxes, and granola bars. There was even the new Bo playing card tucked into the bags, which Malia studied and then promptly informed her mother that it was a “lie.” “He knows how to swim now,” Malia said. “You’re so protective of that dog,” Mrs. Obama said back, saying that the card – which listed Bo as a non-swimmer – was likely made before he had learned. Amid filling the bags, the President talked a little shop with Rep. Todd Platts (R-PA) along the assembly line. “I didn’t want to do too much business,” Obama said as he did just that, “You’ve been a big champion on energy… I think the problem that we’ve got is that if we don’t start helping coal transition to clean coal then we’re going to end up having problems long term.” The two men agreed to talk on the phone soon on the issue…and then the talk turned to baseball. “I am throwing out the first pitch at the all star game.  So I have got to get my arm ready,” Obama said, “I’m going to throw it high and soft.” Mr. Obama divulged a little innocent youthful indiscretion at summer baseball games when he was growing up in Hawaii, watching the by the Triple-A team the Islanders. “I got into trouble a couple times because we used to have contest among some of us, we’d run out and grab the rosin bag at the end of the field.  We would jump the fence and see who could get to the bag first.  A couple of times we got caught that was when I was like 10.  I was already incorrigible back then.” The President was joshed by a Seattle Mariners fan in the crowd. “I got some trash talking here,” Obama said to his oldest daughter Malia and then joked back to the guy, “I don’t remember the last time the Mariners won a World Series when was the last time they won?” The President said that his home team, the Chicago White Sox by comparison, had won a few years ago. -Sunlen Miller

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