Billie Jean King, 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient
I don’t know how many of you remember Former President Bush’s picks, but Obama’s have a significantly different tenor.
A refresher of Bush’s picks from the AP (which included the anti-abortion advocate Henry Hyde in 2008):
Though recipients are typically applauded, President George W. Bush’s decision in 2004 to award them to three people central to his early Iraq policy were controversial.
Bush awarded medals to former CIA Director George Tenet, former Iraq administrator L. Paul Bremer and retired Gen. Tommy Franks. He was especially criticized for including Tenet, who came under fire for intelligence failures leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and the Iraq war.
Among the 16 awardees announced by the White House today are Senator Edward Kennedy, Nancy Brinker, founder of Race for the Cure, Billie Jean King, well-known tennis player and first openly gay sports figure and Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected mayor. Also included was the first female President of Ireland, Mary Robinson.
You can see the full list here.