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Opinion: Obama, Abortion and Baseball

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    When did the District of Columbia become a swing state?

    On Tuesday the District sure did get some love from the White House. The same kind of sweet talk that states like Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Colorado and others are sometimes treated to during an election year.

    But D.C. is not a swing state -- 83 percent of its residents approve of President Barack Obama.

    Which means the District is often taken for granted.

    So it was a curious moment when White House spokesperson Jay Carney indicated Obama’s opposition to efforts in Congress to ban abortions in D.C. after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

    "The president's position on a woman's reproductive freedom is well known," said Carney.

    Well known?

    In 2011 while negotiating with House Speaker John Boehner, Obama is reported to have told the Republican lawmaker, “I’ll give you D.C. abortion.”

    The president then signed a budget that prevented the District from using tax dollars to fund abortions for low-income women.

    In one fell swoop Obama undermined the rights of women (at least those who reside in D.C.) and dealt District autonomy a stinging setback.

    But now we are in an election year.

    By golly, it is time to stand up for the rights of women.

    On a more lighthearted note, Carney also acknowledged that Obama --an avid sports enthusiast and die-hard Chicago White Sox fan -- has been enjoying the success of the "remarkable Washington Nationals" and watching their games.

    Maybe it is not a swing state, but at least the District gets some of Obama’s attention from time to time, like when it can be used as a political football or its baseball team is winning.