ABC News’ David Kerley and Mary Compton report:
President Obama and Vice President Biden ventured to the home of the Washington Redskins – FedEx Field, for the 112th Army-Navy game this afternoon. Withstanding the chilly December temperatures, this is the first Army-Navy game Obama has attended as Commander-In-Chief.
The president led the coin toss, which Army won by calling “tails.” Today’s coin was a commemorative Ronald Reagan Centennial coin, celebrating the life of President Ronald Reagan. Vice President Biden, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey also joined the president on the field. While still in the first quarter, Obama visited the press box to talk about some players on the competing teams who come from his home state of Hawaii.
“I’ve got to be very careful,” Obama said about rooting for a particular team.
He began the game seated with cadets from the Naval Academy and, as is tradition, Obama walked across the field at half-time to sit on the Army side of the field. The President posed with Army cheerleaders before taking his seat. The Naval Academy Midshipmen lead West Point’s Black Knights in the overall series with a 55-49-7 record, including nine wins in a row. Both teams came into today’s game with losing records hoping to end extended losing streaks. Navy has not won a game since it played Air Force in October, losing six straight games. Army has lost its last three games.
This visit to the Army-Navy game comes as President Obama prepares for the end of the War in Iraq. This week the President will meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Malaki on Monday and he and the First Lady travel to Fort Bragg, North Carolina where they will address troops returning from Iraq, Wednesday.
Ever the sports fan, President Obama and the First Family attended the Towson University-Oregon State University Men’s basketball game in Towson, Maryland, two weeks ago. Michelle Obama’s brother, Craig Robinson, coaches the OSU Beavers. The OSU Thanksgiving weekend game has become a bit of a tradition for the Obamas – in 2009, they watched the Beavers defeat the George Washington University Colonials 64-57 and in 2010, the Howard University Bison, 84-74. Happily for the Obama family, Oregon State won over Towson 66-46. Today, as the commander-in-chief, of course, the President has to be happy regardless of the outcome.
“It was a great game,” he said as he entered the White House this evening.
The Navy Midshipmen defeated the Army Black Knights 27-21.