First Lady Sponsors An Attack Submarine

Craig Bannister
By Craig Bannister | May 29, 2012 | 3:33 PM EDT

First Lady Michelle Obama became the sponsor of a submarine over the weekend. Makes sense, given that her husband’s spending has put the entire country under water.

According the White House:

“First Lady Michelle Obama accepted Secretary Ray Mabus’ invitation to serve as the sponsor of the future USS Illinois (SSN 786). Illinois is a Virginia-class submarine, the Navy’s newest class of attack submarine.”

So, what exactly does it mean to “sponsor” an attack submarine?

If it’s like sponsoring a car in NASCAR, I guess we’ll be seeing Obama stickers and the slogan “Forward” emblazoned all over the sides and top of the sub.

Or, is it more like “Adopt A Highway,” in which case she’ll just get her name on a sign somewhere in the mess hall (or on the ocean floor)?

With the whole country drowning in debt, I guess sponsoring a sub seems a logical move.

Personally, I think I’d rather sponsor a tank or a jet fighter – something that could run rush-hour interference for me on the Beltway when I’m trying to make it to work on time.

According to Sec. Mabus, “Naval tradition holds that a sponsor’s spirit and presence guide the ship and her crew throughout the life of the ship.”

Does that mean crew members are going to be hearing ghostly wailing and rattling of chains at night if they didn’t eat their arugula?

And, finally, why is a "Virginia-class" submarine named the "Illinois?"

Coincidence, or proof of a conspiracy? You make the call.

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