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'It Took You Long Enough,' Obama Tells World Series Champ Cubs At White House

By Stephen Gossett in News on Jan 16, 2017 7:46PM

"They said this day would never come," President Barack Obama said while, at long last, introducing the World Series champion Chicago Cubs at the White House on Monday.

Obama commended the team's historic run, several member's charity work and—on Martin Luther King Day—sports' capacity to effect and reflect social change. The avowed White Sox fan and South Sider also got in some good digs, of course.

"It took you long enough," noting (perhaps you recall) the team's century-plus drought. "Even I was not crazy enough to suggest" the possibility of a Cubs championship, he said with the team gathered and smiling behind him, before hitting on a concept integral to the president and Cubs fans alike: hope. We "Hope, suffer and keep on hoping," he said.

The president also mentioned Michelle Obama's diehard fandom. This was the only championship team FLOTUS met in their time at the White House, Obama said, noting how much the team meant to Michelle and her father.

Obama also had some choice shoutouts for David Ross (also on a "yearlong retirement party"), eternally "cool" manager Joe Maddon and Anthony Rizzo ("my fellow 44"), among others.

A touching moment came when Obama referenced sports' unlikely social power. "Sports has had power to bring us together even when the country seems divided," he said. There is "a direct line between Jackie Robinson and me standing here," he added, invoking the great who broke baseball's color barrier.

After POTUS turned over the podium, General Manager Theo Epstein granted the Sox-fan prez a “midnight pardon” for his South Sider favoritism before gifting him a No. 44 jersey, a 44 tile from the Wrigley Field scoreboard, a lifetime pass to Wrigley ("non-transferable!" Obama noted), and a singed W flag for Obama to fly at his presidential library.