With a native Chicagoan still inhabiting the White House for a few more days before the next administration takes over, the Chicago Cubs wanted to visit President Barack Obama at work while they could.
When it was time for the photo op in the East Room on Monday afternoon, the usual pleasantries were exchanged, with an autographed "W" flag and a, duh, No. 44 pinstriped jersey given to president No. 44. Even after Obama made a 2005 White Sox reference (because he just HAD to), the Cubs also presented him with a lifetime pass to Wrigley Field.
Obama also noted, "I love how it says 'non-transferable,'" like it does on a game ticket. Cubs president Theo Epstein quickly interjected that the gift was "strictly an emolument." There will be no personal profiteering from being president. Not even ticket scalping. No way such a conflict of interest-free situation would work with Trump, though.
A lovely gift, but it's hard to imagine a president ever having trouble gaining entry to a Major League Baseball game. Perhaps Gerald Ford would have some trouble (technicalities), and nobody liked that Martin Van Buren guy (he married his cousin). But ex-presidents pretty much get to do whetever they want anyway. Still, a lovely, if somewhat redundant, honorarium.
There was also a touching moment, when Obama mentioned that Michelle had never joined him for the dozens of championship team visits to the White House—until the Cubs. As a lifelong Cubs fan, Michelle Obama told her husband that the Cubs winning the World Series would have made her dad happy. Obama said that Michelle reminisced fondly about coming home from school and seeing her dad watch the Cubs on TV—though the Cubs were likely trailing most of the time back then.
Good for the Cubs that, as champions, they finally got to a chance to visit a sitting president more recent than Teddy Roosevelt.