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1909: Dwight D. Eisenhower, second from right in the top row, poses with the rest of the Abilene, Kansas High School baseball team.

Eisenhower is just one of the many top politicians, past and present, who have partaken in America's favorite pastime. With opening day coming up on April 4th, we thought we'd take a look back at some of the greatest political hits (and perhaps strikeouts).

More pictures of political first pitches are here.

Newscom/U.S. Army Photo/CNP

July 7, 1937: President Franklin Roosevelt attends the All-Star Game at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C., where he throws out the first pitch.


1948: Then-Yale Baseball Captain George Bush accepts "The Babe Ruth Story" autobiography from Babe Ruth, on behalf of Yale University.

Newscom/White House via CNP

1952: Future President Ronald Reagan suits up for a role in the film Winning Team, directed by Lewis Seiler.


September 18, 1965: New York politician Jim Farley, New York Yankee Mickey Mantle and his wife, Merlyn Mantle, and Sen. Robert Kennedy (D-NY) attend Mickey Mantle Day at Yankee Stadium.

Newscom/TSN Archives/The Sporting News/ZUMA Press

1966: Then-Reps. Donald Rumsfeld (IL), fifth from the left, and Gerald Ford (MI), fourth from the right, are among those on the Republican team at the annual Congressional baseball game at D.C. Stadium.

Pictured clockwise from left to right: Glenn Davis (WI), Robert Michel (IL), George Hansen (ID), James Broyhill (NC), Don Rumsfeld (IL), Harold Collier (IL), Gerald Ford (MI), Speaker John McCormack (D-MA), Charles Goodell (NY), Donald Clausen (CA), Robert Griffin (MI), Silvio Conte (MA), William Broomfield (MI), William Ayres (OH) and John J. Duncan, Sr. (TN).


April 8, 1969: President Richard Nixon throws out the first ball on opening day at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC. Washington Senators manager Ted Williams, Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn, Senators owner Bob Short and Yankee manager Ralph Houk are also visible.

Newscom/White House via CNP

1976: Jimmy Carter plays baseball during his ultimately successful Presidential campaign.


July 18, 1998: Vice President Al Gore autographs a baseball for the daughter of Atlanta Braves coach Frank Fultz, before the start of a game between the Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers at Turner Field in Atlanta.


May 6, 2001: President George W. Bush goes back to the Minors and puts the first ball on the T for a T-ball baseball game on the South Lawn of the White House.


June 29, 2004: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Vice President Dick Cheney, and New York Governor George Pataki sit together during a New York Yankees victory over the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.


August 22, 2006: New York Mets mascot Mr. Met chats up former President Bill Clinton, at a game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Shea Stadium.

Newscom/ IconPhotos

July 14, 2009: President Barack Obama joins Fox Sports announcers Joe Buck, left, and Tim McCarver, right, in the broadcast booth at the MLB All-Star Game in St. Louis.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

October 28, 2009: Dr. Jill Biden, Legendary New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra, First Lady Michelle Obama, and retired Army Capt. Tony Odierno, A West Point graduate and Yankees employee who lost his left arm in Iraq, take to the field at Yankee Stadium for Game 1 of the World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Yankees.

The Yankees go on to win the World Series.

Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton

Here are some of the latest pieces of fundraising news in races from across the country, as the first-quarter money results start to come in:

• Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who is in danger of losing his seat this year, raised $1.5 million, and has over $10 million on hand.

• Former Nevada GOP Chair Sue Lowden, one of the candidates for the Republican nomination against Reid, raised $500,000. She has pledged to self-finance to match her individual donations, so this would bring in another $500,000 for a total of $1 million.

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The charges filed this week against nine members of the Hutaree Christian militia group have re-focused attention on the resurgence over the last year or so of the broader militia movement.

That resurgence has been driven in part, say experts, by the election of President Obama. But during the Obama era, threats of anti-government violence -- and even the real thing -- have become more widespread. In fact, with disaffected Americans from Massachusetts to California freaking out against the Feds en masse, it sometimes seems that going postal has become all the rage. Of course, in some cases, that anti-government animus long predates the election of our current president. But there seems to be something about the current climate that's contributing to the rash of incidents.

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Family Research Council's Tony Perkins today defended his group's decision to ask donors give to individual candidates instead of to the Republican National Committee given recent problems there.

Speaking on MSNBC this afternoon, Perkins said the RNC -- and its spending and the flap over a staffer expensing a trip to a bondage-themed nightclub -- is "tone deaf" to social conservatives.

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Was President Obama's big announcement yesterday that he plans to open vast swaths of the U.S. coastline to oil and natural gas drilling necessary to win Democratic support for comprehensive climate and energy legislation?

Though members of Congress and the media were thrown for a loop by the news, the announcement came as little surprise to others, particularly key Senate Democrats. This, they've accepted, is the price that must be paid to bring oil-patch Democrats into the fold on a more comprehensive energy bill.

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Two candidates enter, one candidate leaves -- all campaigns are essentially a fight to the political death. But most of the fights are in the style of pro-wrestling: scripted, predictable and (sorry to be the one to break this to you) frankly pretty fake.

Sometimes, however, candidates are forced to enter The Octagon. A few races each cycle turn into full-on, no-holds-barred brawls that would make a UFC fan cringe. No one knows who'll come out on top, but it's a good bet that everyone will get at least a little bloodied.

After the jump, our list of this year's top political cage matches.

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President Obama is speaking in Portland, Maine, on health care reform. Here are his complete prepared remarks:

Hello, Portland! It is so good to be back in the great state of Maine.

When I came here during the campaign, I made a promise. It wasn't just a promise about any one issue. It was a promise that our government would once again be responsive to the needs and aspirations of the middle-class. It was a promise that Washington would concern itself not just with the next election, but with the next generation of Americans.

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Republican promises to repeal health care have gone from full speed ahead to ... we'll see.

As Democrats are out celebrating the passage of the sweeping health care reform package, some Republicans are having second thoughts. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich went from promising repeal at campaign events to admitting recently on Fox that President Obama would veto any repeal legislation should the GOP win back control of Congress. Hence the new "repeal and replace" push from Republicans.

But several Republicans have gone even farther in recent days, backing away from repeal pledges.

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It's starting to look like there might not be any special election for the House seat formerly held by ex-Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY), who dramatically resigned last month in a scandal involving allegations of sexual harassment of male aides, a scenario that would leave the seat vacant until at least this November.

Maggie McKeon, a spokeswoman for Gov. David Paterson, told Gannett that no decision has been made on whether to fill the seat before the regular November 2 election -- and that issues of cost would work against it. "We have some serious concerns about the financial impact that a special election could have on the county level, especially because those counties are facing the same fiscal crisis that the state is facing," said McKeon.

If there were an election for this seat, the Republicans would have a pretty good chance of carrying it. The district voted for John McCain by 50%-48% in 2008, while at the same time Massa picked up the seat by a 51%-49% margin in a very Democratic year.