dublin dan

Irish Times: When Air Force One touches down in Dublin next month, a frail but sprightly gentleman nearing his 80th birthday will be on the tarmac to greet President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. For US ambassador Dan Rooney, that moment will rank right up there with his Pittsburgh Steelers winning the Super Bowl.

The first time Rooney met Obama (then running as a candidate) was in Pittsburgh in September 2007: “I told him, ‘You gotta go to Ireland.’ He said, ‘I will, and I’ll go with you.’”

….Rooney used his prestige as the owner of the Steelers to win over crucial working-class areas of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia for Obama’s election. He arrived in Dublin, as the ambassador of a grateful president, on July 2nd, 2009, with two goals: to visit every county in Ireland, and to welcome a presidential visit.

Obama “is a friend, in addition to being the president”, Rooney explains. “I want him to have a good time . . . enjoy himself. He’s got a hard trip following.”

…The US president and first lady are expected to reside with the Rooneys in the ambassador’s residence in the Phoenix Park. On Saint Patrick’s Day in 2010, Rooney recalls, Obama said, “Yes, I am coming to Ireland, and I’m staying at his house.”

As the ambassador notes, it already has very good security. Built in 1776 by a British colonel, the ambassador’s home is rented from the Irish Government for a symbolic one dollar each year. Presidents Kennedy, Clinton and George Bush snr have slept in the presidential suite, as well as Princess Grace and Bing Crosby.

…The ambassador loves his life in Ireland, but as Obama’s unconditional fan, he’s thinking of returning to the US soon. “I would probably have to resign to campaign for President Obama’s re-election,” Rooney says. “I think that would be the number one thing I can do for him, and I’d be willing to do so. He’s the best man for the job, without question.”

Full article here

20 Responses to “dublin dan”

  1. 1 Me4obama
    April 25, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Oh chipsticks, am so looking forward for this trip for many reasons and one of them is the excitement and Love Ireland is showing the president. I think he is also looking forward to all that the Irish people have to offer. No one is more Irish than O’bama. Oh yea.

  2. 2 CTGirl
    April 25, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Chipsticks, you have me tearing up! How sweet!

  3. 3 Luci1119
    April 25, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Yesssssssssss, this Is so sweet, and sounds soooooooo good to hear and read. I like Ambassador Rooney, he’s very respectful, and thoughtful, bless his sweet little Heart. I’m so glad that Ireland Is giving the Obamas a hearty Welcome. I’m sure It will be fun for all of them. I can’t wait to see the pictures.

    • 4 AnitaW
      April 25, 2011 at 8:11 pm

      I was thinking the same thing. He’s 80 years old and he’s talking about campaigning again? Bless his heart. Seriously.

      • April 25, 2011 at 9:19 pm

        He also said if he were asked to campaign he would resign as Ambassador which under law he would have to do in order to campaign for the president.

        But there again he dont need the job so….. BLESS HIM ALL THE SAME. That is what you call a supporter.

  4. 6 dotster
    April 25, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Cool story. Love it.

  5. 7 politicaljunkessa
    April 25, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    I love the Rooneys — they have been great for football (advocating for the hiring of minorities for coaching and executive positions), and Mr. Rooney has been a vocal supporter of PBO. I concur with Mr. Rooney: “He’s the best man for the job, without question.” Indeed!

    Chipsticks, thank you for a lovely day of sunny content here at The Obama Diary. Your hard work is so appreciated, especially on a day like today when there are so many happy images of the president and his family to see. I’ve been smiling all day.

  6. 8 UT Austin Liberal
    April 25, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    I absolutely adore Dan Rooney. I remember him during the 08 campaign and he was 100% in.. all the way for then candidate Obama. Bless his heart for his kind and generous words and the fact that he’s also IN for OBAMA/BIDEN 2012. This goes to show that both old and young LOVE and BELIEVE in OUR GREAT PRESIDENT. I am soooo psyched for the Ireland visit and the pictures that Chipsticks will spoil us with… and make us feel as though we are on the trip also.. re: Brazil 😀 😀 😀

  7. 9 lisa
    April 25, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    are the girls not going? really? that’s so sad, they should get to go 😦

    • 10 anniebella
      April 26, 2011 at 4:18 am

      It would be nice if the girls could go, but I think they are in school, so I imagine they won’t be going.

  8. 11 P
    April 25, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    That is the way Rooney fired up ready to go!!!

  9. 12 Hhannahh
    April 25, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    I must admit, as a diehard steelers fan, I was a little pissed when Obama named Dan ambassador to Ireland because I didn’t want him to be taken away from us. However deep down I knew he made an excellent choice and that Dan would represent us well.
    I think it is so sweet that he may return to campaign again- I love how much he supports out president.

  10. April 25, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    One important fact Ambassador Rooney was not a HILLARY supporter who switched over to Obama. He was an OBAMA supporter out the gate. I remember images of some of the Steelers campaigning for the president FRANCO (ex) and the old boys canvassing. Ambassador Rooney picked his horse and stuck with him. Thank you sir.

  11. 14 kelly
    April 25, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Oh I remember this man. I am glad he will be there to greet our POTUS, he is a real supporter not a bandwagonist. #DUBLINDAN>>>MATT DAMON

    • 15 AnitaW
      April 25, 2011 at 11:45 pm

      Bandwagonist is too perfect. Well with Boss Hogg out of the race that leaves about 11 more fringe candidates to run. I will guess that Huck and Daniels will bow out next.

  12. 17 Betty's Girl
    April 25, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    Now that’s what I called a supporter!

  13. 18 HZ
    April 25, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    This is such a refreshing article. Now that is a true man of his word with a big heart of goodness. We pray for his strength to do all that he can. Our President has so many people who really love him.

  14. 19 Mae who love our CIC
    April 26, 2011 at 3:26 am

    I agree Mr. Rooney, President Obama is the best person for the job.

  15. 20 Eleroy
    April 26, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Much thanks to you Mr. Rooney!!! May you live long and strong!!!

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