President Obama Welcomes Chicago Cubs at the White House for Final Official Visit -- See the Pics!
By Tina Smithers Peckham
Shortly before his final departure from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, President Barack Obama welcomed one more World Series-winning team through those hallowed doors, marking his final official White House event during his presidency.
The world champion Chicago Cubs visited the White House on Monday, following a Twitter invitation extended by the president back in November after the team cinched the big win against the Cleveland Indians.
It happened: @Cubs win World Series. That's change even this South Sider can believe in. Want to come to the White House before I leave?
"Even I was not crazy enough to suggest that, during these eight years, we would see the Cubs win the World Series," he continued, before mentioning First Lady Michelle Obama's longtime fandom. "FLOTUS is a lifelong Cubs fan."
The President also spoke of iconic former Cubs players Ryne Sandberg, Ron Santo and Ernie Banks, and mentioned several White House staffers who are devoted fans.
"I've talked to him about being DNC chair," Obama also joked of Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein, who masterfully ended World Series droughts for both the Cubs and the Boston Red Sox. Epstein then granted Obama a "pardon" for his extreme loyalty to the White Sox and gave him a few gifts, as noted by Cubs writer Carrie Muskat.
#Cubs give Obama a No 44 jersey, a 44 from scoreboard, lifetime pass to Wrigley, a W flag
Obama concluded the visit on a more serious note, stressing the power that sports have to unite people, even during division and strife.
"Throughout our history, sports have had the power to bring people together even when our country is divided," the president stated. "Sports has a way sometimes of changing hearts in a way that politics or business doesn't."
Watch below for more on President Obama's impending departure from the White House.