President Obama got booed on Monday after making a joke about a trade. He should have known better.
Some things just aren't OK to joke about.
Red Sox Nation sent that message to President Obama Monday at a fundraiser in Boston. The president, a staunch fan of his hometown White Sox, was goofing on a trade this week that sent third baseman Kevin Youkilis to the south-side Chicago squad. "Boston, I just want to say thank you for Youkilis," Obama said. Met with boos, he went on: "I'm just saying he's going to have to change the color of his sox. I didn't think I'd get any boos out of here. I guess I should not have brought up baseball. I understand, my mistake, my mistake. You gotta know your crowd."
Truer words, Mr. President, have never been spoken. In today's political sphere, where even Social Security -- long said to be the nation's third-rail -- has been targeted for reform by both parties, the Red Sox may be the only thing that can reliably guarantee backlash for a candidate. The rule holds true even for Democratic superstars in deep-blue Massachusetts.
The Romney campaign, based in Boston, was quick to respond with umbrage: "The Red Sox have suffered many setbacks over the years -- the Babe Ruth trade, the ball through Buckner's legs, the Bucky Dent home run. Maybe the President should have congratulated the team for winning the World Series in 2004 and 2007. Instead, he chose to mock them for trading away one of its favorite players at a time when the team is struggling." (As some wags pointed out, Romney has been much slower to articulate a position on immigration than on the trade.)