The Intertubes have been all atwitter over the apparent snub of Mr. Obama by five of NASCAR's best drivers.
NASCAR said Thursday that five drivers – Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart – will not be attending the White House visit due to "schedule conflicts."I'm not so sure that a snub was intended. As is frequently the case, an instant response is not necessarily the best response. Some of those accused of snubbing Mr. Obama have been there before and would like to go back again. They really do have events schedules months in advance that cannot be changed.
Some media outlets reported that Kurt Busch wouldn't be going to the White House, either. Not so. His team rescheduled an important photo shoot for next year's merchandise and marketing campaigns, a session that must be done by the end of the month to get everything ready before the team heads to Daytona for the start of the 2012 season.Jeff Burton, scheduled to attend from the beginning of this kerfuffle, had an interesting thought.
"All along, it was my intention to go," Busch said. "Who's going to turn down an opportunity to go to the White House? For me, it's an honor and a privilege. I have met both Bush and Obama. To be a Chase driver and go to the White House, that's an important visit. You might not make the Chase every year and miss out on those opportunities."
Burton said all the debate about NASCAR's visit to the White House symbolizes a larger divide within the country.
"Ten years ago, after 9-11, this country was unified. This country was together," he said. "Today, we're sitting here talking as if someone, for political reasons, is going or not going to the White House. And we wonder why this country is in trouble. We can point the finger and blame all the people in Washington. Well, maybe we need to look in the damn mirror a little bit. Really. It's our country."