Thursday, June 21, 2007

Lost in Baseball Fever

Steve Terrell of the Santa Fe New Mexican notes how, for New Mexico governor and presidential candidate Bill Richardson, baseball is the cause of and the solution to all of life's problems:

In his autobiography Between Worlds: The Making of an American Life, Gov. Bill Richardson wrote that baseball was “the ruling passion of my young life.” . . .While baseball was Richardson’s salvation as a youth, the
national pastime has become a common thread in many of the controversies that have haunted his campaign for president.

I imagine most people are aware of Richardson's lie about being drafted by the Kansas City A's, but I hadn't heard about his claim to be both a Yankees and Red Sox fan. Nor had I heard about this odd behavior at a minor league game last year:

"As we get up from our seats to visit the play-by-play announcer’s booth,
Richardson does something I’ve never seen any politician do,” Lizza wrote.
“There are two women sitting in front of us. They are both young and attractive,
probably in their twenties. The governor rotates his large frame sideways and
shimmies out of his row. The two women smile up at him. As he passes, Richardson
reaches down and places his fingertips on the head of one of the women, tickling
her scalp as he opens and closes his hand. Then, as he reaches for the next
scalp, his hand suddenly aborts its mission, as if the governor realizes this
wasn’t such a good idea after all.”

I know that Richardson is trying to position himself as the true heir to Bill Clinton, but that may be taking it too far.

No matter the case, it seems to me that if Richardson is to lift himself from the second tier to the first tier of candidates, he needs to swear off of baseball for a while.