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Huckabee's sports stumble

Manchester, N.H. -- Sometimes, we despair over the inability of politicians to learn from their rivals' missteps. So it is today, with Mike Huckabee engaging in shameless pandering as the NFL playoffs heat up.

The former Arkansas governor is a major sports fan, for the St. Louis Cardinals and for the Dallas Cowboys. And, as he worked a crowd earlier today in Londonderry, N.H., he spotted a young man wearing a Cowboy cap. The Times' Joe Mathews was there, and he reports that Huckabee waved to the fellow and chirped: "We're going all the way this year."

One problem -- the presidential contender was surrounded by fans of the unbeaten New England Patriots, the odds-on favorite to win the Super Bowl this year, perhaps in a matchup with the Cowboys. So Huckabee's comment spurred a few hisses. And one man exclaimed, disgustedly, "Don't tell me you're a Cowboy fan?"

Here was a chance for Huckabee to show his grit, to distinguish himself from fellow Republican Rudy Giuliani -- the devoted New York Yankee fan who this fall elicited disbelief by saying he backed the team's archenemy, the Boston Red Sox, in the World Series -- and Democrat Hillary Clinton -- who never can choose between the Yankees and the Chicago Cubs.

But Huckabee whiffed. He indicated that the Patriots are on such a roll that he wouldn't mind if his favored squad lost to them in the ultimate game. "This year, I could live with just getting there," he said.

We don't believe that for a minute.

-- Don Frederick

Comments () | Archives (3)

The comments to this entry are closed.

(Wow these blogs are getting crowded!)

I agree -- it's a bit of a whiff -- people will forgive you for honestly and earnestly supporting your team. Now, taking an unfair shot at Tom Brady is not forgiveable. Analysing Belechik's history of pushing the rules is not advisable. But he could have said, "Yeah, I'm a Cowboy fan, and I'm looking forward to one of the greatest Super Bowl matchups." That's the real American answer.

As an Obama supporter (and I am paid 0 cents per post), I'll point out that Senator Obama consistently supports the South Side Sox, even though the Cubs have the bigger following among his natural base, the well-educated Chicagoans.

By the way, I think the NFL goes a long way toward reinforcing our cultural values of fair game play. In what other sport is there an appellate review (a resource-bounded review, at that)? In what other sport is the judgement of an official required to be announced explicitly, on a microphone for all to hear(!), with a citation of the relevant section of the rules? I love baseball too, but the balls and strikes behavior of plate umps seems backwater by comparison.

Most politicians will say anything to get in office...especially those from Hope Arkansas...

The worst part of this story is he's a St. Louis Cardinals fan, too. Ick.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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