The Nats have announced their new Racing President, and it's a big one
After teasing the reveal earlier this week, the Nationals unveiled their newest Racing President at NatsFest on Saturday. The fifth presidential mascot: our 27th president, William Howard Taft. Didn't see that one coming, did you?
We certainly didn't. Taft was fairly successful for a one-term president and is the only president to also serve as a Supreme Court justice, but his administration doesn't loom large in the modern public consciousness. He mostly looms large for having been large -- Taft's peak weight was about 340 lbs and he once famously got stuck in a White House bathtub (requiring his aides to use butter to extricate him).
What he did have is a strong connection to Theodore Roosevelt. Taft served as Roosevelt's Secretary of War and was his hand-picked successor in the 1908 election. But tensions rose between the two, leading to Teddy challenging Taft on a third-party ticket in 1912 (Woodrow Wilson won).
The rivalry between the two will surely be utilized as a storyline in the Presidents Race. Taft -- or "Big Chief" as the Nats are calling him -- has already tweeted as much:
As you probably know, Teddy won the Presidents Race for the first time in 2012. Will his winning streak continue, or will Bill steal his thunder? Who do you think will win more races in 2013?
-- Dan Wohl / MLB.com