Tag Archives: football analogies

Obama Tries to Run out the Clock

(Many apologies, but I’m going through NCAA withdrawal, and politics is the best substitute I can find. Still, I think the extended analogy holds up.)

Obama seems to have abandoned hopes of overcoming Hillary’s race-charged alliance of Latinos, uneducated whites, and Asians. His campaign has sunk the possibility of revotes in Florida or Michigan, simultaneously saying that their loss wasn’t fair because they didn’t compete, while declining to compete because those states are now unwinnable:

Clinton’s Hopes for Florida Fade – TIME
Monday’s decision by Florida Democrats to abandon their efforts to hold a new primary, in order to get their delegation seated at the national party’s August convention, is another blow to Hillary Clinton’s attempt to close the small but near-impregnable delegate gap on her rival, Barack Obama. And she’s having little more luck in Michigan.
Clinton won January primaries in both states. But since both were held in violation of national party rules, the state parties were told their delegates would not be seated and the races were not officially contested. (Obama even pulled his name off the Michigan ballot.) Now, however, Clinton sees the two states as key to her flickering hopes of catching Obama. The Illinois Senator, unsurprisingly, has opposed any revote or reconsideration of the January results in either state, though his campaign is open to a neutral solution that would give each candidate half of the states’ delegates — a solution that would effectively have no impact on the outcome.

To use a football analogy, it’s 15:00 in the fourth quarter, ‘Bama has the ball on his own 20, up by 10, and its first-and-ten. Obama faced two choices: try to score a touchdown somewhere, making his lead insurmountable, or try to run out the clock, waste enough time that the other team is unable to compete.

Both may be sensible strategies. But running out the clock at this stage in the contest is typical of weak teams who are ahead, shouldn’t be, and are strategically paralyzed by a tougher and meaner opponent. Especially considering this bad news, Obama’s signaling weakness and despair.

Obama will now run the ball on every down. He is unlikely to score again. Hillary’s strong, and will probably score a touchdown with Pennsylvania. Then it will be a three point game. With five to ten minutes to go. A Hillary team that knows how to win. And an Obama team that knows she will get the ball at least one more time.

Jomhuri Eslamiyi tries to convert on third and long

Whatever one may think of the Iran’s behavior up to now, Iran is presently choosing a high-risk strategy. Between President Ahmadinejad’s Jew- and gay- baiting speech in New York City to the sealing of the Kurdish border, the Islamic Republic has gone beyond the tit-for-tat proxy battles against America to actions that alienate potential sympathizers. (Specifically, Iran’s actions tick off American liberals and Iraqi Kurds, two groups with interests halfway between Washington’s and Tehran’s).

There’s no need to think that Iran’s government is crazy, or evil, or desperate. Merely that they see a bad situation getting worse and that normal behavior on their part would lead to bad outcomes.