The Red Sox are a team that knows what coming from behind for the victory is all about. This was the general tone in New England over the past couple days when presidential hopefuls campaigned in New Hampshire and Massachusetts in preparation for their respective primaries. The theme of the “underdog” was evident when Barack Obama addressed several Massachusetts voters yesterday evening. Receiving a full endorsement from Gov. Deval Patrick, the lone African American United States Governor, Obama did not attempt to lure voters by pledging his support for city’s favorite sons: the Red Sox.
In fact, Barack Obama spoke of his undying love of different colored Sox: those of a white variety. The Senator from Illinois reasoned with the crowed who quickly began booing him after he pulled no punches on his baseball allegiances by asking if they wanted a President who flip-flopped on issues like rooting for sports teams.
Baseball allegiances have provided a concrete mainstay during any political interviews, debates, or general talk. For this reason, Barack Obama’s no-holds-barred approach to his lack of love for the Red Sox also provided a shot at his competition: Senator Hilary Clinton. Senator Clinton, a native of Illinois, flip-flopped at the concept of her Chicago Cubs facing off against her New York Yankees in the 2007 World Series. Fortunately, for Senator Clinton, both the Yankees and the Cubs were both bounced in the first round of the playoffs in 2007, giving her at least another year to pledge her undying support to either franchise.
Hilary Clinton’s waning support for the Yankees is something that Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani is very familiar with. Giuliani, a self-proclaimed life-long Yankees fan, was outspoken in 1999-2000 when, then-First Lady, Clinton donned a Yankee cap at the White House when the pinstripes visited for a photo op with the President and First Lady. In fact, during the 2000 World Series, seeing Hilary Clinton wear both a Yankee and Met cap, depending on which was the home team of course, was not all that unfamiliar. On the other hand, there sat Rudy Giuliani in the front row at Shea Stadium during games three, four, and five wearing the same pristine navy cap with white interlocking N-Y sitting prominently at the forefront.
If there was one thing that New Yorkers could rely on, it was Rudy Giuliani’s devotion to the greatest franchise in sports and entertainment history. However, that all changed on October 23, 2007. While campaigning in New Hampshire, Giuliani announced to a crowd of supporters that he would be rooting for the Red Sox to defeat the underdog Colorado Rockies in the World Series. While the crowd erupted in cheers of joy for Giuliani’s pledged support, the residents of New York dropped their collective jaws in complete and utter shock.
Could this have really happened? Did the same man who openly ridiculed Senator Clinton for not knowing about the history and tradition of the Yankees really pull the ultimate no-no? As the saying, for all Yankee fans, goes: “I root for two teams, the Yankees and whoever’s playing the Red Sox.” Has Giuliani really lost touch with the great New York Yankee fan base, or has the “nation” in Red Sox Nation convinced him that he could obtain more votes around the country by supporting the most hated rivals of his “beloved” Bronx Bombers?
Giuliani is someone who has attempted to bully his competition at every Republican Debate by citing their propensity to flip-flop on issues ranging from gun control to tax cuts. Despite the light humor surround sports allegiances, Giuliani’s flip-flop regarding his undying support for the Yankees provides a rather significant metaphor for voters. If Giuliani is willing to turncoat on something as important to him as his Yankees (he “bleeds pinstripes,” you know…), then what would he be willing to do on issues not as close to his heart as gay marriage, foreign policy / wars, the economy, and social justice in America?