It's a rough analogy but you could say that 85 year old Charlie Brotman was to President Barack Obama's Inauguration Monday afternoon what Michael Buffer is to big time boxing events.
In recent years, the always affable and unflappable Washington public relations man has been better known for being the Inauguration p.a. announcer, a post he's handled seamlessly going back to President Truman and then President Eisenhower in the 1950s, and also as the ballpark "voice" of the Washington Nationals MLB team.
(A fitting position for Brotman given the fact that he was the old Senators p.a. guy back when "Washington was first in war, first in peace and last in the American League.")
Yes, that was the dulcet tones of Brotman that you heard saying that that first the Obamas and then VP Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, "are making their way to the reviewing stand" and also informing those on the scene or watching on the screen that in our nation's capital "Pennsylvania Avenue is our Main Street."
The creative Brotman even tossed in a plug for local tourism, inviting the multitudes to return to Washington when the cherry blossoms bloom and duly noting "it's only 59 days to the first day of spring."
So what, then, is the boxing link here?
I first met the legendary Brotman when he was smoothly handling p.r. efforts for a budding ring legend named Ray Charles Leonard.
"Oh, that one is easy." Brotman said. "Has to be Ronald Reagan because so many great stars came to town from Hollywood. It was a thrill to see all that star power here."
So how how the Chiefs compare to noted champs?
"Well, Bill Clinton I would say is like Muhammad Ali, very slick and very smooth. Also, a real showman, a crowdpleaser," Brotman said.
As for Obama?
"I'd say he's like Marvelous Marvin Hagler, a skilled technician and a solid puncher. Or maybe a bit of the great Hagler and some of the masterful ring moves of another great, Aaron Pryor."
Maybe closest to Brotman's heart was 1961, the dawning of the Camelot Era when he was the voice behind the Inauguration Walk of John F. Kennedy and his stylish First Lady, Jackie.
"I've got to compare the great JFK to Sugar Ray Leonard because they just had sensational style and have been so appealing to the public. That's the fighter who comes to mind when I think of John Kennedy."
As for Kennedy's successor, Lyndon Johnson, Brotman said he was a bit like Leonard arch-rival Roberto Duran.
"Lyndon Johnson was a politician through and through but he knew how to cajole and convince people of both sides of the aisle. He was rough and ready like Duran in the boxing ring."
As for the next Inauguration, set for January of 2017, Brotman plans to be behind the mike.
"It's all relative," Brotman said. "I'm 85 now but I thought being 40 was being old."
So who might the "main event" of the 2017 ceremony and parade? I mentioned the possibility of Hillary Clinton.
"Then we will have to compare Hillary to Laila Ali, Muhammad Ali's daughter."
That's effervescent Brotman, a man of constant good cheer and inexhaustible lungs.
He's the Michael Buffer of presidential inaugurations.
It's starting to look like Charley is not on a tryout for this high status gig.
Pomp. Circumstance. Brotman.
That's a Capital Combination for this quadrennial event and has been for 63 years.