Thursday, March 20, 2008

Athletic Supporters

SI's Players section this week featured an election special titled "Athletic Supporters: Sports stars weigh in on presidential picks."

Not surprisingly, Obama scored high with the predominantly African American NBA, McCain with the predominantly white NHL and MLB, and Clinton with, well, people that liked her husband.

I am curious to know the identity of the unnamed hockey-playing Obama supporter that was quoted as admitting he watches Oprah, "I see him on Oprah and I think he's a sincere guy."

Of the 350 overall athletes surveyed, McCain edged Obama 132-116, with Clinton bringing up the rear with 22. Eight respondents supported another candidate (I assume Kucinich), and 69 (kinky) were undecided.

One of Hill's handful of supporters noted, "Bill Clinton was the best president we ever had, and I am sure he will be calling most of the shots if Hillary is elected."

That must be a boost of confidence for women everywhere. Then again, she's ridden his coattails for the entirety of her political life, so maybe this comment isn't all that surprising.

Second, the best president we ever had? Hey, he did a fine job managing the country as it reaped the benefits from the 80's administrations' investment in technological and economic growth (e-commerce boom/bust), with an opposition Congress pushing through tangible legislation, all while not doing anything demonstrably remarkable aside from that whole blow jay thing. It worked for him. Everyone was happy.

But again, best president we ever had? George Washington only helped secure our independence from a colonial empire, and sat as executive over a newly established form of government unprecedented anywhere in time and space. Abe Lincoln only steered us through civil war and a country on the brink of dissolving its union, not to mention that whole emancipation thing (addressing an issue many of his predecessors refused to even acknowledge in public). Hell, Kennedy kept us from nuclear war while hopped up on a cocktail of pain-killing and mood altering meds, and a 238-year-old Regan dissolved a threatening empire of his own while popping jelly beans.

The 90's were good. They didn't help make things any easier at the turn of the millennium, but things were just peachy compared to today. "Best ever," though is a stretch. Even for an uninformed multi-millionaire athlete.

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