President Obama poses with New York Giants players at a White House event… (Olivier Douliery / Abaca…)
WASHINGTON -- After a day like the one he had Friday, in which his comment about the private sector "doing fine" almost instantly turned into a campaign attack, President Obama seemed to draw inspiration from the example of the New York Giants, whose Super Bowl championship he paid tribute to in the afternoon.
"A lot of folks thought that team didn't have a chance to win," the president said from the sun-drenched South Lawn of the White House, with the Giants players standing behind him in front of the grand south portico. "The Giants took a whole bunch of hits this season, but they never went down. From Day 1, they followed a simple motto: Finish. Finish the play. Finish the game. Finish the season."
How about finish the campaign?
It certainly didn't hurt that, for starters, they beat a team from New England.
The Giants last visited the White House as world champions in 2008, also an election year. And the team's head coach, Tom Coughlin, made note of the coincidence.
Of his team and the president, Coughlin said: "We both have a goal. To get back here next year." The crowd, including members of the New York and New Jersey congressional delegations, administration officials and other fans, roared in approval. "We have a lot of work to do."
Obama did have one regret, it seemed -- that it wasn't his hometown team celebrating an NFL title.
"Go Bears!" he told reporters as he walked back to the Oval Office. "But the Giants are OK, too."
Doing fine, even.