Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Will President Obama Wear a UNO Hockey Jersey?

On Wednesday, President Obama will speak at UNO's new Baxter Arena. I'm kind of surprised that the President chose UNO's new arena over the CenturyLink Center, but the downtown arena may not have been available. After Creighton plays Providence on Tuesday, Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath are taking over the Clink for a week.  Omaha is the first stop on Black Sabbath's farewell tour, and Ozzy's band has the arena booked to prepare for the tour.

Needless to say, this Presidential visit is the biggest event to ever occur on UNO's campus. Today, a commemorative hockey jersey was embroidered with the name Obama and number 44.

This wouldn't be the first time that a national politician has been presented a UNO hockey jersey; during the 2008 Presidential campaign, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was presented with a pair of UNO sweaters at a campaign stop in Omaha. Palin was the Republican vice-presidential candidate for Senator John McCain (R-AZ), whom Palin repeatedly called "Maverick" during the Vice Presidential debate a few weeks earlier.

Interesting to note that Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has declined an invitation to welcome the President to Omaha.  Politics, I assume.  Ricketts is a Republican, and Obama is a Democrat, of course.

That's a sad sign of the divisiveness and pettiness that passes for politics in America today. It's a bad look for Nebraska's governor.  Contrast Ricketts actions with the actions of former Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey, a Democrat, when former President George W. Bush visited Omaha during his eight year term:
To protest or not to protest: When Bush touched down in Omaha, Neb., in early June, he was met by a smattering of protesters, some of them anti-war, some against a constitutional amendment on marriage and some against amnesty for undocumented workers.

But the city's mayor, Mike Fahey, a Democrat in a nonpartisan office, wasn't among the demonstrators.

"The mayor always welcomes the president when he chooses to visit our city no matter what the topic or if he agrees or disagrees with the topic," says mayoral spokesman Joe Gudenrath. Fahey has attended two of Bush's events held in Omaha since he took office.
Sad.  Just sad.  But not surprised.

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