Saturday, March 8, 2008

So Hillary Clinton is the Black Boxer?

As a self-imposed rule I avoid certain topics on this blog to maintain theme and focus. Moreover, I shun politics out of humility and sports out of disinterest. But a podcast from my favorite source of news and irreverent commentary, Slate magazine, has issued a challenge that got my gears turning: Is there an apt sports metaphor to describe the current state of the Democratic primary, i.e. a scenario that is akin to superdelegates trumping (a) a majority of pledged delegates and/or (b) the popular vote?

It occurred to me that the democratic nomination has some fun parallels with boxing, and even though I can already think of twenty holes to poke through a boxing metaphor generally, I’m still having fun exploring these few analogues. So fuck my rules.

There are three ways to lose in boxing: by Knockout, by Technical Knockout (TKO), and by Decision.

Knockout: This is easy. The losing boxer (or candidate) gets pummeled to the point that his battered body and brain decide he can take no more, and he falls down (bows out) and stays down. By dropping out of the race by his own accord after South Carolina, John Edwards lost by Knockout. Ding, ding!

TKO: The losing boxer refuses to go down and stay down, despite his obvious defeat and increasing likelihood of permanent injury and death. So the referee (a significant majority of pledged delegates) makes the decision for him. “You’re done, son, good fight.” On the Republican side (they have no superdelegates but they do have pledged delegates), Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee would have lost by TKO. Ding, ding, ding!

Decision: If a fight ends before either boxer falls or the referee calls it (i.e. by the Convention), the decision goes to the judges (superdelegates). Obama is on track to win the popular vote, which istechnically meaningless, and an insufficient majority of pledged delegates; Clinton is on track to lead in superdelegates. Will this trend hold by the Convention? Will the decision go to the judges?

Because I rarely watch sports, I’m forced to borrow from the only boxing match to end in decision that I know well: Rocky Balboa v. Apollo Creed, I. At fights’ end the judges determine, by a split vote, that Creed (Clinton) has connected more punches and, in their over-honed expert opinion, has generally demonstrated himself to be the more skilled boxer (she's been vetted and allegedly possesses a proven track record). But Balboa (Obama) has landed the most devastating blows (he has a music video and is just so freakin’ cool), evidenced in the final seconds when Creed was spitting up blood. The referee knows Creed was the loser by almost any standard except professional boxing, and so do the people, evidenced by the hate mail Creed receives in Part II which provokes him to rematch.

You see where this is going, yes? Obama ultimately wins but he and Clinton remain friends, and she coaches him through some difficult times. In 2016 she decides to run again, this time with the support of the incumbent, but Arnold Schwarzenegger (Ivan Drago) is allowed to enter the race and kills her during a Las Vegas debate. Obama trains in the frozen mountains of Russia, preparing to avenge her death. He defeats Arnold, and serves out a third term.


Lorraine said...

Nice attempt at the sports metaphor...don'tcha just wish it was as easy as it seems.

Must say I was surprised to see your name on my blog...because I have a friend by that very name...only he's not a writer in Boston.

Thanks for stopping by.

Amanda said...

The American voting system confuses me and you aren't helping. Am I right in thinking that it doesn't really matter if Clinton or Obama win because the OAP on the other side will get in anyway? (Notice I said get in, not win the election)

Still confused of Scotlnad

Tanya said...

Just say no to Obama
and hillary
Maybe even McCain.

It should be Tanya for President!

Duncaan said...

You missed part of the story. you talked about "Obama 4", filmed in 2016... what about "Obama 5000"?

(pathetic Space Balls reference for those of you who have a life...)