WASHINGTON--As reporters were escorted to the South Lawn to take some shots at White House press secretary Robert Gibbs in a dunk tank (it's luau night), President Obama suddenly opened a door near his Oval Office.
David Corn, author and Mother Jones Washington Bureau Chief hollered out to Obama, come out for a pitch. Obama looked ready, but he said, "they won't let me take a shot."
The South Lawn was decorated with thatched huts serving food and drink and lots of palms; tonight is the congressional picnic and the luau theme is inspired by Obama's native Hawaii.
When I was being escorted to the South Lawn, the smell of whatever was cooking was overwhelming and delicious, perhaps barbeque.
The Gibbs in the dunk tank idea came from FOX News Wendell Goler, who suggested reporters take shots at Gibbs for charity.
Gibbs, in a mock long sleeve turtle neck and shorts--was sitting in the dunking booth when the reporters arrived. There would be four pitchers, each getting three tries. Gibbs said the White House counsel advised that no money could change hands. Gibbs suggested a voluntary donation to a local food bank.
Mike Emanuel from FOX News took three shots and missed.
The AP's Ben Feller hit the dunking paddle on his third ball and Gibbs went down. High fives.
I tried next, not having used my southpaw overhand pitch for years. I threw hard. I came close on my first two tries. I think some folks were surprised that I had a pitching arm. I always wanted to throw like the boys.
Then someone moved the coconut that was the marker so I could stand closer to the target paddle. I declined. I threw hard again. Close, but no dunk.
Bill Plante from CBS was next. He hit the target on the first throw.