Michelle Basch, wtop.com
WASHINGTON – The season just started and the Nationals are already thrilling fans.
But not everyone is thrilled by the choice of the team’s fifth racing president mascot, William Howard Taft.
In a column published Sunday, the Washington Post’s Robert McCartney said the mascot, nicknamed Bill, doesn’t deserve to be the fifth racing president.
McCartney called it a “lame decision”, and wrote: “In history’s standings, Taft is 20 games out of first place”.
“Well that’s a real low blow,” the president’s great-grandson John Taft said when WTOP informed him of the column.
Taft, who has a healthy sense of humor, says the president is indeed worthy.
“Not to get too serious about it, but this is something people should realize. Not only was he the only person in the history of the United States to serve as President and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Think about that. He also served as Governor General of the Philippines and set the Philippines on a course towards democratic statehood and was Secretary of War,” Taft says.
“He served the country at the highest level for 30 years. Who else has done that in the history of the United States,” Taft asked.
Taft calls the decision to add his great-grandfather to the racing presidents roster “inspired”.
He also made a bold prediction.
“I think by the end of the season, that provided he doesn’t let his competitiveness get to him, he’s going to become a favorite of the Washington fans. At least that’s my hope.”