Obama Calls Eagles Owner to Congratulate Him for Signing Vick

Chris Chase, Yahoo! Sports, December 27, 2010

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NBC’s Peter King reports that Barack Obama called Philadelphia Eagles owner Lurie earlier this week to congratulate him for giving Vick a second chance after his release from prison. According to King, the president said that released prisoners rarely receive a level playing field and that Vick’s story could begin to change that.

Forget your political allegiances or feelings about Michael Vick and take a step back to think about this. The sitting president of the United States went out of his way to publicly praise a man who, 3 1/2 years ago, many thought would never play again in the NFL. {snip}

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For Obama to praise Vick now shows a number of things, namely that uttering the quarterback’s name is thought to be a safe political move. {snip}

Because, if you think about it, Vick got that “second chance” from Lurie 16 months ago. There was no phone call from the president then. Praising Vick at that time would have been a political third rail. But now that Vick is playing great and most people seem to have either forgiven him or stopped caring about his transgressions, it’s a shrewd political move. After what could be termed a rough two years in office, the president is looking for a second chance from the people who have turned against him over the past two years. Supporting a huge star like Vick could help with the president’s recent image problems. It may not register much nationally, but it couldn’t hurt in Pennsylvania. After all, it’s a swing state and 2012 is just around the corner.

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