After pledging his allegiance to the White Sox during an oft discussed chat with Stuart Scott, Sen. Barack Obama engaged in a bit of bandwagon jumping on the campaign stump yesterday, as recounted by ABC News‘ John Berman, Sulen Miller and Ursula Fahey :
Standing in Philadelphia, in front of thousands of residents of Philadelphia, Obama went out on a limb. “I am a White Sox fan,” he said, “but since the White Sox are out of it, I’ll root for the Phillies now.” So there you have it, Obama is now pulling for the Phillies. Write it in stone. Hold him to it. Sure, there is a lot to like in the Phillies. Lefty Jamie Moyer, for instance, pitching into his late 40’s, is defying the limits of age (take notice John McCain). The Phillies have nice uniforms and a nice stadium too. There is a lot to like, but is that really what Obama likes? Could it be that the Phillies are from Philadelphia which is in Pennsylvania, which is a battleground state? And does it help that they are playing the Dodgers from Los Angeles which is in California, which is a safe Democratic state? Who really needs the Dodgers anyway?
Will Obama stick to this position when he campaigns in Florida? After all, the Tampa Bay Rays are in the playoffs, and are located smack in the middle of key swing territory in the Sunshine State. Will Obama be brave enough to tell Rays fans (all 6 of them) that he is rooting for the Phillies? Or will he try to claim dual allegiance to a National League Team (the Phillies) and an American League team (the Rays)? And if he does that, what about the millions of truly moral, excellent, and just fans of the Boston Red Sox? Massachusetts is no swing state, but Red Sox Nation knows no borders, and there are thousands of rabid fans in New Hampshire, a key battleground state.
In all likelihood, this bit of opportunism by the Democratic nominee will pay no greater dividends than lifelong Yankee fan Rudolph Giuliani’s decision to root for the Red Sox in the 2007 World Series. But given the number of times the guilt-by-association card has been played of late, I remain hopeful Obama’s challengers will arrange a photo op with Josh Howard. Y’know, Maverick to Maverick.