Rodgers flattered by Obama comparison

Weston Hodkiewicz
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President Barack Obama joins Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers after honoring the Super Bowl XLV Champion Green Bay Packers, Friday, Aug. 12, 2011, in a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington.

Personally, President Barack Obama is an avid fan of the Chicago Bears. Professionally, however, the commander-in-chief sees a lot of himself in Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers when it comes to fulfilling his day-to-day responsibilities.

Obama drew the comparison during a recent interview with GQ Magazine.

“Maybe [Aaron] Rodgers in the pocket,” Obama said of what it has been like being president. “In the sense of you can’t be distracted by what’s around you, you’ve got to be looking downfield. 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.’”

Obama and the Packers have had a tongue-in-cheek relationship dating to Green Bay’s Super Bowl XLV victory. When the Packers visited the White House after the NFL lockout in August 2011, the team presented the president with honorary stock in the team.

Obama then joked: “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 said he was appreciative when asked about the comparison during Wednesday’s locker room media session.

“Well, I know that's probably tough for him because he's a big Bear fan,” Rodgers said. “I appreciate that 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.”

Rodgers has met Obama on two occasions. His first encounter was earlier in the 2010 season when he and a few of his receivers visited the White House.

“That was a blast. It was fun,” 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.”

How did that conversation go?

“I did OK,” Rodgers said. “I don't remember what I said, but I don't think I stuttered too much.” and follow him on Twitter @WesHod.

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