ON THE CORRELATION BETWEEN ATHLETIC SKILL AND PRESIDENTIAL SKILL
Really, all you need to know about whether you have to be a jock to be a good president is that George W. Bush is really, really good at throwing out ceremonial first pitches.
Yes, he's just terrific at that. Even as he was being booed at the Washington Nationals' opening-day game, Bush put some zip on the ball, and did so from the top of the mound, not the front like some other pols, as the announcers covering the game breathlessly noted ("There have been many presidents who have thrown out first pitches, but I don't know that anybody's done it any better than this particular president"). And the strike Bush threw from the mound at the 2001 World Series is legendary -- watch this mini-documentary* on the moment and learn just how seriously he took the assignment:
You know, I wanted to make sure that if I was going to throw out the ball, I was able to do so with a little zip. You know, I didn't want people to think that their president was incapable of finding the plate.
Now, I would have preferred a president who couldn't find the plate but could find bin Laden, but hey, that's just me.
The worst president of all time is probably the best first-pitch thrower of all time. So when Joe Scarborough and one of his guests say Barack Obama's a lousy bowler -- no, say he's a "dainty" bowler -- and say that "Americans want their president, if it's a man, to be a real man," I just have to ask when we start reaping all the foreign- and domestic-policy benefits of George W. Bush's manly throwing arm. Wake me, Joe, when Bush's arm finds bin Laden, or brings stability to Iraq, or rebuilds New Orleans, or gets us out of the subprime mess, or gets everyone affordable health care.
*UPDATE: That link no longer works -- try this one.