Politics

Obama’s Youkilis joke falls flat

President Obama tried to tweak Bostonians Monday as he thanked the Red Sox for trading Kevin Youkilis to his hometown Chicago White Sox, but instead he triggered a chorus of boos from fans still a bit raw over the deal.

Making a light-hearted jab as he delivered a series of thank-yous at the start of a fund-raising speech, the president added: “Finally, Boston I just want to say – thank-you for Youkilis.”

The infielder was traded on Sunday for righthanded relief pitcher Zach Stewart and utility fielder Brent Lillibridge.

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As boos swelled up from the floor and down down from the double balconies at Symphony Hall, Obama chuckled.

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“I’m just saying, he had to change the color of his socks,” the president said with a building grin.

“I didn’t anticipate boos out of here,” he added as some of the boos turned to the low rumble of “Y-o-o-u-k.”

The president finally conceded, “Obviously, you got to know your crowd.”

One woman then absolved him of guilt, yelling out from above, “We still love you.”

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The rest of the crowd laughed and applauded in agreement.

Glen Johnson can be reached at johnson@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.