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Political heavyweights can’t resist the Sox’ swoon

September 27, 2011

Sports metaphors have a lot of carryover in the world of politics, so it’s no surprise that top political pundits are digging into the Red Sox’ month from hell.

Nate Silver of 538.com has weighed in (h/t Ted Nesi).

And so has DC analyst Stuart Rothenberg, who likens Boston’s sinking fortunes to those, post-election, of President Obama, while reminding: “[Unexpected events can change our lives and our politics overnight.”

America’s reputation around the world improved as the new president traveled the globe, bringing his personal magic with him. A Democratic special election victory in the spring of 2009 in upstate New York seemed to foreshadow additional electoral problems for the GOP.

But, as the late, great Broadway actor Zero Mostel might have said, “A funny thing happened on the way to the midterms.”

Almost all of the president’s initiatives ran into trouble, even with huge majorities in the House and Senate, and the jobs recovery never occurred. If the situation in Iraq improved, the war in Afghanistan — which during the 2008 campaign then-candidate Obama cited as the more important struggle against terrorism — took a turn for the worse.

As far as the Red Sox, Rothenberg writes:

Whatever the reason, the Red Sox’s inability to win the American League East is nothing short of stunning. Yes, the team had significant injuries, but so did the Yankees (Alex Rodriguez, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Rafael Soriano, to mention the most obvious.)

Boston will no doubt take the winter as an opportunity to restock. And the team could conceivably win the World Series this year and for the rest of the decade, even with this disappointing regular season.

As for me, I’ll simply smile about the season the underdog Yankees have had and relish yet another tremendous summer by Derek Jeter, who is hitting a robust .295 as the season comes to a close.

Picking baseball teams, much like predicting the political future, is a humbling business.

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