WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 01: Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (L) poses for a "selfie" with U.S. President Barack Obama during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House to honor the 2013 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox April 1, 2014 in Washington, DC. The Red Sox defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2013 World Series.Getty Images

This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal

Sox and Friend

Sports champions have been visiting the White House for 145 years, ever since the Cincinnati Red Stockings, baseball's first professional team, paid a call on President Grant in 1869. World Series winners have been coming since the Washington Senators stopped by to see President Coolidge to celebrate their 1924 world title.

So it was nothing new to have the Boston Red Sox there this week to hear President Obama lavish praise. To the relief of both the White House and the Red Sox, no stars boycotted to make a political statement. Last year, Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk refused to accompany the Super Bowl champions because of Obama's support for abortion rights. In 2012, Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas boycotted the Stanley Cup champions' visit because of his differences with the president. But all the Red Sox stars were there this week. No incidents and no political statements — unless you count Jonny Gomes's outfit. The left fielder wanted to show his patriotism by wearing white pants and a gaudy stars-and-stripes suit jacket, accessorized with black sunglasses atop his shaved head. He bought a similar outfit for the president and had his teammates sign it. As of the end of the week, Obama had yet to don the jacket in public.

George E. Condon Jr.

 

Selfless

At the same White House event, it turned out that the "spontaneous" selfie that the president took with Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was actually an orchestrated social-media move by the baseball star. After Ortiz tweeted the picture of himself and the president on the South Lawn, it got a boost from Samsung on Twitter. As a newly signed social-media insider for the tech company, Ortiz used one of its devices for the shot. Then Samsung's team went to work tweeting out the photo. "When we heard about the visit to the White House, we worked with David and the team on how to share images with fans," Samsung said in a statement to The Boston Globe.

This mirrors the Samsung-orchestrated selfie — and now most-tweeted photo ever — that Ellen DeGeneres took at the Oscars last month.

Aides said the president wasn't privy to the scheme, but the move likely will make the White House press office think twice before Obama takes another selfie with athletes or other celebrities. The political selfie is no longer simply a rare bit of innocent Washington levity; it's just another conduit for corporate messaging.

Matt Vasilogambros

 

Murmurs

Brown Hits Town He may not have brought his red truck, but former Sen. Scott Brown was spotted on Capitol Hill this week, reuniting with his former colleagues during the Senate Republican Conference lunch, while his potential Democratic rival, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, enjoyed lunch with her own caucus just down the hall. "We'd love to have Scott back," Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters. Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who occupies New Hampshire's other Senate seat, was visibly annoyed by questions about Brown's appearance and wouldn't say whether she supports his candidacy. "Like I said, I like him, I respect him. He's out talking to people in New Hampshire," she said. Brown, who was the junior senator from Massachusetts for two years before Elizabeth Warren defeated him in 2012, has formed an exploratory committee to run for Shaheen's seat. Majority Leader Harry Reid was quick with a quip after the Democrats' luncheon on Tuesday. "I'm sure you all heard this before, but Senator Mikulski said last week in the caucus that the Constitution guarantees every state two senators, but the Constitution does not guarantee every senator two states," he said.

Sox and Friend

Sports champions have been visiting the White House for 145 years, ever since the Cincinnati Red Stockings, baseball's first professional team, paid a call on President Grant in 1869. World Series winners have been coming since the Washington Senators stopped by to see President Coolidge to celebrate their 1924 world title.

So it was nothing new to have the Boston Red Sox there this week to hear President Obama lavish praise. To the relief of both the White House and the Red Sox, no stars boycotted to make a political statement. Last year, Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk refused to accompany the Super Bowl champions because of Obama's support for abortion rights. In 2012, Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas boycotted the Stanley Cup champions' visit because of his differences with the president. But all the Red Sox stars were there this week. No incidents and no political statements — unless you count Jonny Gomes's outfit. The left fielder wanted to show his patriotism by wearing white pants and a gaudy stars-and-stripes suit jacket, accessorized with black sunglasses atop his shaved head. He bought a similar outfit for the president and had his teammates sign it. As of the end of the week, Obama had yet to don the jacket in public.

George E. Condon Jr.

 

Selfless

At the same White House event, it turned out that the "spontaneous" selfie that the president took with Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was actually an orchestrated social-media move by the baseball star. After Ortiz tweeted the picture of himself and the president on the South Lawn, it got a boost from Samsung on Twitter. As a newly signed social-media insider for the tech company, Ortiz used one of its devices for the shot. Then Samsung's team went to work tweeting out the photo. "When we heard about the visit to the White House, we worked with David and the team on how to share images with fans," Samsung said in a statement to The Boston Globe.

This mirrors the Samsung-orchestrated selfie — and now most-tweeted photo ever — that Ellen DeGeneres took at the Oscars last month.

Aides said the president wasn't privy to the scheme, but the move likely will make the White House press office think twice before Obama takes another selfie with athletes or other celebrities. The political selfie is no longer simply a rare bit of innocent Washington levity; it's just another conduit for corporate messaging.

Matt Vasilogambros

 

Murmurs

Brown Hits Town He may not have brought his red truck, but former Sen. Scott Brown was spotted on Capitol Hill this week, reuniting with his former colleagues during the Senate Republican Conference lunch, while his potential Democratic rival, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, enjoyed lunch with her own caucus just down the hall. "We'd love to have Scott back," Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters. Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who occupies New Hampshire's other Senate seat, was visibly annoyed by questions about Brown's appearance and wouldn't say whether she supports his candidacy. "Like I said, I like him, I respect him. He's out talking to people in New Hampshire," she said. Brown, who was the junior senator from Massachusetts for two years before Elizabeth Warren defeated him in 2012, has formed an exploratory committee to run for Shaheen's seat. Majority Leader Harry Reid was quick with a quip after the Democrats' luncheon on Tuesday. "I'm sure you all heard this before, but Senator Mikulski said last week in the caucus that the Constitution guarantees every state two senators, but the Constitution does not guarantee every senator two states," he said.

This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.

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