Steroids? Say it ain’t so, Barack

By Ben Krull

Major League Baseball officials say that President Obama tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug, after throwing out the first ball at Tuesday’s All Star Game. Rumors of the president’s drug use began circulating after he threw out the first pitch of a White House softball game and was clocked at 102 miles per hour.

At a hastily called press conference, the president read a statement saying that he obtained the steroids from his wife’s personal trainer, thinking that they were a vitamin supplement.

“Even though I was unaware that I was taking a banned substance I take full responsibility for my actions. The buck stops with me,” the president said. After issuing the statement, he ignored reporters’ shouted questions, asking whether the first lady’s muscular arms were the result of steroid use.

The president has been banned for the rest of the season, leaving baseball without a major administration figure to throw out first balls. Secretary of State Clinton is still recovering from elbow surgery and Vice President Biden fell out of favor with baseball officials, after saying in a television interview that he would not permit his family to attend games, for fear that they would get hit with a foul ball.

Obama adviser David Axelrod told reporters that chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel might be available for first-ball duty, despite missing part of the middle finger of his pitching hand. “If Three Finger Brown can make it to the Hall of fame, Rahm can throw out a first ball,” Mr. Axelrod said, referring to Mordecai Brown, a pitcher in the early 1900s, who threw with a three-fingered hand.

Republicans were quick to criticize President Obama. House Minority Leader John Boehner, during an appearance on Fox News, claimed that steroids gave the president an unfair advantage over his Capitol Hill opponents.

“Democracy demands an even playing field,” U.S. Rep. Boehner said. “If Republicans cheated like the president, we too could have a 60 percent approval rating.”

Conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh also skewered the president. “Folks, this is the change that we’re in for; under the Democrap…excuse me, Democrat prescription drug plan, your child will be on steroids, just like the president. They’ll be able to buy it at the local candy store, while you won’t be able to get pain medication,” Limbaugh told his radio listeners.

But according to presidential historian Michael Beschloss several presidents have used performance-enhancing drugs. “Kennedy took steroids to treat his Addison’s disease and the first President Bush took sleep aids on long plane trips. And there is plenty of evidence to suggest that President Clinton’s performance in the Oval Office was enhanced by Viagra,” Beschloss said.

While it is too early to tell how the public will react to President Obama’s drug use, political consultant James Carville worries that it could hurt his credibility. “Next time he hits one of those three-point baskets on the campaign trail, people are going to wonder, is it him or is it the steroids?” Carville said on CNN’s “Larry King Live.”

No matter the political fallout of the scandal, the season-ending suspension means that the president will forfeit a substantial sum of money from his four-year $300 million contract with Major League Baseball. President Obama’s agent, Scott Boras, told reporters that he is exploring options to make up for the lost salary.

“The Tokyo Giants offered several million for Barack to throw out a first ball during his next state visit,” Boras said. “Some Cuban teams have also expressed interest, but first we have to figure out how to get around the travel ban.”

Ben Krull, an attorney in Lower Manhattan’s Family Court, is a freelance writer.