Last year for Presidents’ Day, I found proof that two of our presidents were rowers. Teddy Roosevelt rowed while at Harvard and Jimmy Carter likes his erg. For Presidents’ Day this election year, I found something more appropriate in a freedom of speech kind of way.
Check out “Rowing Dude” who continued to erg on a balcony just above a Ted Cruz campaign rally in the Jefferson Community Center Gym on February 1. Jefferson, Iowa is just about an hour away from Des Moines. Rowing Dude noticed the crowded parking lot, the Ted Cruz campaign signs, the attentive audience and even the Texas Senator but was steadfast to his routine. He wanted to row.
Jon Ward, senior correspondent for Yahoo News gets credit for a keen eye and an ironic take on the the Iowa Caucuses. Turns out that Rowing Dude is Aussie father of four, Jason Roberts who can’t even vote. Roberts came to the US for college baseball and stayed on to build a life in Jefferson, Iowa, population of 4,276 or so, most days. This rowing dude is an athletic trainer for the Texas Rangers’ minor league system. And who was once the managing general partner of the Rangers before he was President? George Bush, brother of presidential hopeful Jeb.
In any event, Rowing Dude gets attention and criticism just like any other rower or presidential hopeful. He gets some great advice too. The best yet was from political and rowing analyst Elizabeth April (@elizabethadrina) who offered “You’re hands are dropping at the catch.”
Best wishes then, to everyone this Presidents’ Day, and a coxswain request to Rowing Dude: HANDS UP AT THE CATCH!