Next Monday is the 125th anniversary of the publication of one of America’s most beloved poems, “Casey at the Bat,” first appearing in The San Francisco Examiner on June 3, 1888. With apologies to author Ernest Thayer, here’s a modernized version starring POTUS, the president of the United States:
The outlook wasn’t brilliant,
For the White House staff that day:
Polls were south of 50,
With but one term more to play.
And when Lerner whiffed at testimony,
And Holder did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon
The West Wing’s biggest names.
A few put out their resumes,
Planning for the fall.
Others clung to long-held faith
That POTUS could fix all.
They thought if only POTUS
Could get a whack at that—
We’d donate to a 527,
With POTUS at the bat.
But Carney preceded POTUS,
And Biden would speak next,
The former left us sleepy,
And the latter knew no text.
So upon that stricken multitude
Grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance to get
POTUS up to bat.
But Carney spoke so briefly,
Then headed to the beach.
And Biden, much despis-ed,
Tore the cover off his speech.
And when the dust had lifted,
And the press saw what appeared,
There stood Biden quiet at the last,
Saying not another word.
Then from 500 aides and even more
Arose a lusty yell.
It rumbled through the District,
It rattled in the dell.
It knocked upon Mount Rushmore,
And recoiled on the land.
For POTUS, mighty POTUS,
Was advancing to the stand.
We loved the grace of POTUS,
As he stepped into his place.
We loved to see his bearing,
And the smile on his face.
And when, responding to the cheers,
He lightly waved his hand,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt
The greatest in the land.
One thousand eyes were on him,
As he came into their sight.
Five hundred tongues applauded,
As he shook hands left and right.
Then while the scheming Boehner
Gave a sound bite and a quip,
Defiance gleamed in the POTUS eye,
A sneer grew from his lip.
And now a Libyan cover-up
Came hurtling through the air,
And POTUS stood a-watching it
In haughty grandeur there.
So the IRS was hardly fair,
Leaving groups for dead?
“That ain’t my style,” POTUS laughed.
“Strike one,” Krauthammer said.
From the rainbow-colored benches,
Rose up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves
On a stern and distant shore.
“Kill him! Kill Krauthammer!”
Shouted some: The camera panned.
And maybe they’d a-killed him
Had not POTUS raised his hand.
With a smile of resolution,
The POTUS visage shone.
He stilled the rising tumult.
He bade Fox News go on;
He signaled to the All-Star panel:
From Goldberg insults flew.
But POTUS still ignored them:
Juan Williams said, “Strike two.”
“Fraud!” cried the angry hundreds.
The echo answered: “Fraud.”
But one scornful look from POTUS,
And his audience was awed.
They saw his face, so stern, so cold.
They saw his great brain strain.
They knew our country once again
Would have progress without pain.
Resolve is clear in those POTUS eyes.
His teeth are clenched in hate.
He pounds with ardent violence,
His fist upon a plate.
We know we’ll soon have hope and change,
And vibrant health for all.
Jobs aplenty, games galore,
And happiness will soar.
Oh, somewhere in this favored land,
The sun is shining bright.
The band is playing somewhere,
And somewhere hearts are light.
And somewhere voters laugh aloud,
And somewhere children shout.
But there is no joy in Washington:
Mighty POTUS has struck out.