Bill Whalen: Politi-Cal

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Super Bowl, Super President?

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Armchair quarterbacks and second-guessers are having a field day with President Obama’s troubles.

Is the problem being too timid with Congress, not acting quickly enough on the deficit, not adding enough Republican ideas to mix to show he truly is a different brand of politician — or, is this simply another case of campaigning being a whole lot easier than governing (see Carter, Jimmy . . . Clinton, Bill)?

My take: the Obama Adminstration first went off the rails on the morning of Nov. 5, 2009.

It was just hours after the New York Yankees had won the World Series. And, for Obama, a chance to show that change was on the way.

All the Prez had to point out was the obvious: the Bronx Bombers had won it all in 1996 and 1998-2000 (years a Democrat occupied the Oval Office), then went an inglorious 0-fer during the Bush presidency.

Some opening remarks write themselves: “Just as America’s most storied baseball team is waking up from our long national nightmare, so too are the American people . . .” But Obama didn’t take advantage of his role in ending the Yankees’  jinx (and maybe getting a World Series ring to go along with that Nobel Peace Prize).

So does Super Bowl XLIV offer a similar opening for America’s XLIVth president?

I’ve crunched the numbers — which conference fares better with a Democrat or Republican in office . . . the fortunes of red- and blue-state teams . . . games won by teams from states that voted for the winning candidate, etc. And there isn’t much to be gained.

For example: the AFC went 6-2 during the Bush43 years and the NFC went 6-2 during the Clinton years. Eureka! The AFC is Republican and the NFC is Democratic (which, by the way is kinda how the Colts and Saints come cross, given the players involved and the cities they represent).

But, timeout. The play is under review . . .

That same “Democratic” NFC went 10-2 during the Reagan-Bush41 years. The “Republican” AFC had a winning record during the Carter years.

Overall, going back to LBJ and the first game in 1967, the NFC has won 9 of the 15 “Democratic” Super Bowls; the AFC has won 15 of the 28 “Republican” Super Bowls”.

By the way, I’m not the only propellor-head who likes to fiddle with this sort of stuff. Here’s a link to the America Bowl, which is one man’s effort to match up the 43 previous administrations with the 43 previous Super Bowls and deciding once and for all which mattered more: the man or the game?

So far, the score is: Super Bowls 21, Presidents 20.


Written by Bill Whalen

February 5, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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