As those of you who have read this site for a while know, I occasionally enjoy conversing about the politics. This Presidential primary season has been one of the most interesting of the past 40 years as both sides have gone against the grain during the season. On the Republican side, most assumed months ago that Guiliani would be the nominee and that McCain was dead in the water. Now McCain is the presumptive nominee (absent a last minute move by a guy named Mitt) and Guiliani is hoping for someone to recognize him at a Yankees game. On the Democrat side, everyone assumed it would be a Hillary coronation, but then a guy named Barack has made it a race and has enthused a great deal of the young people in the process. I watched Hillary on Letterman last night and she is simply unwatchable….the fake laughs, the non-moving hair….it is all too much. It is no secret Barack is my guy and I am crossing my fingers that he takes California tonight.
So today is a great double shot as it is Super and Fat Tuesday, a truly wonderful combination. Looking at the remaining candidates, they each are somewhat akin to one of college basketball’s super programs. For the record, there is no Kentucky analogy on here because I dont want opposing party UK fans to have their heads explode.
John McCain: The decorated war hero is sort of the North Carolina of the general election. Like UNC, he has a historical story that is impressive….lived through a POW camp/produced Michael Jordan…..a maverick of the Senate/the top college producer of NBA talent. But beneath the surface, there are some dark signs….McCain has a known temper and often turns off many of those closest around him/ UNC fans have an elitist arrogance that is second only to Duke, but can be more difficult due to their less dorky persona. However both McCain and UNC are respected, even by those that dislike them….they reach across the aisle and always produce at least one bill or player you can get behind and thus they are worthy of your praise.
Mitt Romney: There is no doubt that the man with the perfect hair and smile is clearly the Duke basketball of the remaining candidates. Full of praise by some who cant understand why everyone is not behind their guy (the conservative base/Dick Vitale), each has the ability to look a little too perfect and way to elitist for our taste. Romney is a Republican who once was elected governor of Massachusetts, insuring that he has taken every political stance known to man in his life. Duke is a top-flight institution that still finds a way to graduate basketball players in three years, insuring that it can play in the muck of academic fraud as well as any other basketball factory. Both have a squeaky clean exterior and a seemingly All-American wife/student body. But we all know that there is something not right beneath the surface and cheering for them is somewhat like cheering for the house in blackjack. While their supporters feel that they have found the perfect person/team to back, we all know something different. The sight of a guy named Mitt or a PG named Paulus is simply too vomit-inducing to support.
Mike Huckabee: The preacher turned politician should just sing “Rock Chalk Jayhawk” and embrace his Kansas basketball roots. As one of the last remaining contenders in the race and winningest programs in college basketball, both parties deserve our praise. But at the end of the day, neither can really be taken all that seriously. Yes Huckabee won Iowa, but Kansas gets a number one seed every year and at the end of the day, we know they arent going to win a title. Yes they are both good for some fun diversions. The idea of a Preacher President is fun to toy with, but do you really want I guy whose last name sounds like a children’s toy to be there to handle the next 9/11. Similarly, the Kansas lineup is great, the guys can dunk and there will always be a big white guy in the middle to mock, but do you really think “Kansas” when college basketball royalty is being discussed. Hey we like you Huck and Kansas….but just be happy that you are allowed in the debates/tournament, because really none of us take you seriously.
Ron Paul: Shouting in the back of the class, attempting to remind others of days long gone by is Indiana basketball’s own Ron Paul. Ron Paul tries to remind us that the founding fathers didnt like the way the country is run now and it is based on freedom, individuality and blah blah blah. Indiana fans insist that they are one of the top programs ever and they have never cheated (until the last year or so) and they went undefeated in 76 and blah blah blah. Yes we like your spunk and passion Ron Paul and Indiana fans, and on some level we respect your dedication and desire. But leave modern politics and basketball to those with some hold on reality. Read your Declaration of Independence and “A Season on the Brink” and leave modern basketball to the Big Boys.
Hillary Clinton: With her fake smile and ubiquitous husband, Hillary Clinton reminds us of the team that will never go away and feels entitled to all, the UCLA Bruins. There was a time that the Clintons were undoubtedly on top. Bill was President and loved by those around the world….and his likeability was such that most forgave him, even when they knew he acted in a sleazy manner. UCLA basketball was also undoubtedly on top. With the classy and gracious John Wooden at the helm, UCLA won every year and received accolades the world over, even allowing most to forgive the fact that they bought nearly every player during their title runs. Then both the Clintons and UCLA disappeared for a while, but they have come back….insisting that they deserve another chance to be on top of the political and basketball worlds. The Clintons have all the money to their Democratic connections and UCLA has all the recruits thanks to their West Coast base. But both seem like just a reincarnation of the past and the rest of us are ready to move on. Yes we respect the way that Hillary gets things done in the Senate and Kevin Love can throw a strong outlet pass….but we are ready to move on and kind of need you folks to exit stage left.
Barack Obama: Like a coach with a brilliant slicked back widow’s peak not willing to wait his turn to win, Barack Obama is the new flavor a la Florida basketball. A few years ago if you told anyone that an African American man named Barack Hussein Obama could be a viable contender for the Presidency and do so by trying to unify a fractured country, most would have told you that you were out of your mind. Similarly, just ten years ago, the notion that Florida basketball, with its Spring football-focusing fans and inability to compete with Kentucky could win back-to-back National titles and be a top program in college basketball would have seemed preposterous. But now both are on the scene and demanding to be taken seriously. Many of the old guard see Obama and assume he is “not ready” of hasnt “paid his dues.” Many college basketball fans feel Florida doesnt deserve its success due to a lack of basketball history and isnt worthy of repeat championship status. But both are here and dont care what you have to say….they may win despite what you think and bring on a whole new batch of young voters/top recruits with them.
So there you go….Super Tuesday….we will likely know the Republican nominee and be thoroughly confused by the Democrat tonight. Should be interesting….and if isnt, there is always American Idol