Ever since Ted Leonsis arrived on the local scene in 1999 when he purchased the Washington Capitals, he’s never used his bully pulpit to address political issues. While I always knew that he leaned toward the Democratic camp — I clearly recall seeing Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) in the Caps locker room during the 2008-09 NHL season — I never took him to be much of a political player. For the most part, the only political effort that ever seemed to get Leonsis revved up was his attempt to get President Barack Obama out to a Caps game.
That may be changing, and changing in a way that the White House probably didn’t appreciate.
Earlier this week, Leonsis took aim at the class warfare rhetoric that’s been coming out of the Obama White House over the past few weeks, and it’s clear he’s not happy with what he’s hearing from the White House. The following was posted on Sunday over at his blog, Ted’s Take:
Economic Success has somehow become the new boogie man; some in the Democratic party are now casting about for enemies and business leaders and anyone who has achieved success in terms of rank or fiscal success is being cast as a bad guy in a black hat. This is counter to the American Dream and is really turning off so many people that love American and basically carry our country on their back by paying taxes and by employing people and creating GDP.
This is a bad move all designed by some pollster who said this is the way to get votes during the re-election. It should be stopped. We should be healing and creating teams NOT dividing and pitting people against one another.
I know the President isn’t speaking to me specifically when he talks but many times I hear stuff and I cringe personally.
Later, Leonsis couldn’t help but take a shot directly at the President for his apparent hypocrisy:
I take the Acela train to Philly and NYC all of the time. Alone — no traveling companions to prep me. I have never seen our President on the train, have you? I own 50 hours on NetJets for the rare occasion I do travel by private plane. Does Air Force One charter out? Stop making private planes an issue. This is a tiny issue for us to deal with for our country.
I do have a nice home with a house keeper. I have only one home. I bet there is more staff at the White House though? And Camp David. What kind of real estate tax is the White House paying? Nice jewelry here. Click away. Stop it. Upgrade the discourse.
Is the president listening? And more importantly, is there any chance that he’ll take heed of Leonsis’s advice? My guess is no. There are plenty of political talking heads smarter than me that say that the way the president is talking these days reflects the person and politician that he really is. Expect him to plow on regardless.
Eric McErlain blogs at Off Wing Opinion, a Forbes “Best of the Web” winner. In 2006 he wrote a “bloggers bill of rights” to help integrate bloggers into the Washington Capitals’ press box. Eric has also written for Deadspin, NBC Sports and the Sporting News, and covers sports television for The TV News. Follow Eric on Twitter.