Gregory Ostertag recently compared Wire characters to NFL playoff teams. I'm going to perform a similar exercise with presidential candidates and sports figures:
Barack Obama/Herm Edwards
Both are charismatic orators and half...way decent guys to say the least. Job experience concerns threatened to dog the career ascension of both men, but their intelligence and personalities have limited the amount of dues they've had to pay. Many initially thought Herm was a long shot to get the Jets Head Coaching job because he was never a coordinator. Similarly Obama was initially scoffed at as a serious contender for the party nomination because he has only served one term as a U.S. Senator. Those concerns have dissipated as their affability and charisma have catapulted them to the top of their professions. Hopefully Obama doesn't balance the budget like Herm manages the clock. Who didn't see that joke coming?
Hillary Clinton/Eli Manning
Two individuals who carpetbagged their way to New York and who have achieved success largely due to their last names. It's highly unlikely that Hillary would have become Senator Clinton and Democratic presidential hopeful (front runner?) without that surname. Eli, being the son of Archie and brother of Peyton, would have been recruited to play QB at Ole Miss even if he had the spine of his black sheep brother Cooper. No doubt, Giants GM Ernie Acorsi had visions of Peyton dancing in his head when he swapped picks with San Diego and phoned in his pick from the war room. Eli had a nice college career, but not one worthy of having the number 1 pick bestowed upon him. Would he have been a first round draft pick? There is a good chance he would have been picked just outside the top ten a la Jay Cutler, but #1 overall is a bit of a reach. It's almost a shame Eli has the Manning name because he could have become a world-class squash player.
Dennis Kucinich/David Eckstein
Both are short, scrappy, overflowing with grit, and have surprisingly attractive wives. Here's Mrs. Eckstein and Mrs. Kucinich.
Mike Huckabee/Carl Everett
Sadly you could attribute this quote on evolution to either of the above-named men: "God created the sun, the stars, the heavens and the earth, and then made Adam and Eve. The Bible never says anything about dinosaurs. You can't say there were dinosaurs when you never saw them. Somebody actually saw Adam and Eve. No one ever saw a Tyrannosaurus rex."
John McCain/Rasheed Wallace
Both McCain and Wallace were straight-shooting, free thinkers earlier in their careers. Sheed could always be (and often still is) counted on for an entertaining quote. His post game "cut the check" diatribe is one of my all-time favorite locker room rants. Due to his outspokenness, Wallace has not always seen eye to eye with teammates. For much of his political career, McCain was labeled a maverick for his "straight talking" and reluctance to strictly adhere to partisan politics (See the McCain-Feingold campaign reform acts). As a result Republican leaders largely threw their support in favor of George Bush during the 2000 primaries because they knew GWB would be a good little soldier and toe the party line. McCain has seemingly learned his lesson from his 2000 presidential campaign and has marched in relative lock step with the Republican platform in the years since, taking a much more social conservative stance on the wedge issues. Wallace, since joining the Pistons has basked in his role as a complimentary team player. He has bought into the Detroit system completely and from all accounts he has been a positive contributor in the locker room and on the court.