Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

Local News

May 22, 2014

The president's words at the HOF


We have some folks here today who are already showing us what’s possible.  Scott Donohue is the CEO of the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.  Where’s Scott?  There he is, right here.  We’ve got, from my own hometown, Rosie Andolino, the Aviation Commissioner from Chicago.  Rosie is right there.  The two of them are responsible for two of the busiest airports in America. But the average wait times through customs and passport control at DFW and O’Hare has fallen to just 15 minutes.  You get off your plane, it’s takes you 15 minutes to get through if you’re an international traveler.  And that is a big deal.  If folks spend less time at the airport, they’re more likely to come back for a return trip.  And when they go back home they tell their friends, you know what, America was there to greet us.

And I’ve made it clear that national security remains our top priority, and that’s not going to change.  But there’s no reason we can’t replicate the success stories of places like Dallas and Chicago all around the country.  We can automate passport controls.  We can bring in top talent from the private sector to find best practices to help move lines faster.  We can add new staff at customs.  We want to bring in more visitors faster and more jobs faster.  If they come into JFK faster, they come into La Guardia faster, then they can get to Cooperstown faster.  (Applause.)  And they can start seeing Joe DiMaggio’s glove faster.  They can see Babe Ruth’s bat faster.  (Applause.)

So creating good jobs isn’t always easy.  But standing here and looking back on more than 150 years of our country’s history, baseball describes our history in so many ways.  We’re reminded of all the obstacles that we’ve overcome to get there.  This Hall has memories of two world wars that we fought and won.  It has memories of color barriers being broken; Jackie Robinson’s uniform, the record of his first season as a Dodger.  It shows us the history of communities that we built across a new continent and the ways that we connected with our country and our world, and how women athletes started getting the recognition that they deserved.

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