Aaron Rodgers flattered Barack Obama spoke glowingly about him

ByRob Demovsky ESPN logo
Thursday, November 19, 2015

How does President Obama see himself on the job? Like Aaron Rodgers in the pocket with defenders trying to knock him down.

In an interview with GQ Magazine, Obama compared himself to the Green Bay Packers quarterback.

"In the sense of you can't be distracted by what's around you, you've got to be looking downfield," Obama told interviewer Bill Simmons. "And I think that's a quality that I have -- not getting flustered in what's around me. So there was never a point, even early on -- even in the first six months, where we weren't sure whether we were going to dip into another Great Depression, we weren't sure whether the steps we were taking on rescuing the auto industry or stabilizing the financial system were going to work -- there weren't moments where I thought, 'Sheesh, feels like we're in over our head.'"

To be sure, the interview was conducted on Oct. 5 -- well before the Packers and Rodgers lost three straight games.

But it wasn't the first time Obama has talked glowingly about Rodgers. When the Packers visited the White House after their Super Bowl XLV win, they presented Obama, a noted Chicago Bears fan, with an honorary share of Packers stock, to which Obama replied: "If I'm a part owner, what I'm thinking is we should initiate a trade to send Rodgers down to the Bears. What do you think?"

Rodgers, who appeared on the injury report this week with a sore right shoulder, said Wednesday he was flattered by Obama's comparison.

"Well, I know that's probably tough for him because he's a big Bear fan; I appreciate that," Rodgers said Wednesday. "He has a lot more responsibility, I think, than I do, and a tough job to do. I appreciate the comment. That's the highest form of respect that I can get from him, so I really appreciate that, especially being a Bear fan."

The post-Super Bowl visit to the White House was actually Rodgers' second encounter with Obama. He first met him in 2010, when the Packers played at the Redskins, and he and some teammates toured the White House.

"It was the receivers and myself," Rodgers said. "We were kind of taking a little tour and they got us behind in, like, a separate room, and a bunch of SUVs pulled up and he walked out. Everybody got a little nervous and quiet, and he was great. He's very personable. He's easy to talk to if you can get over the initial shock of shaking the president's hand, you can try and begin to have a conversation. That was the goal for all of us."

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