Mary in heaven must wonder what the hell is going on. Time and again, political pundits, many of whom have never entered a confessional, invoke the holy mother’s name.
“Hail Mary,” they say with tireless repetition. Though it’s a metaphorical Mary they’re invoking. John McCain needs one. Not a holy Mary, though that might be more helpful as hope ebbs. But a hail Mary.
As if it’s not horrible enough to endure beaten-down clichés on the sports pages, political commentators can’t seem to resist the same bastardized sports terminology as they, well, “cover the horse race” aspects of a presidential campaign.
So John McCain’s faltering effort is in sore need of yet another Mary salutation to save his faltering campaign. Like – but not very – the one last desperate unlikely pass that could alter the outcome of a football contest.
Commentary describing presidential debates bristed with McCain’s jabs and Obama’s feints, bobs and weaves, with McCain disparaged for failing to deliver the necessary knock-out punch, perhaps because Obama employed the rope-a-dope, a tactic that formerly belonged to a Muhammad Ali.
Having failed in the boxing ring, McCain then failed on the baseball diamond. McCain was apparently unable to hit that necessary home run. And we were told by conservative columnist George Will that the candidate, all through the later stages of his sorry campaign, has been “behaving like a rookie playing in a league too high.”
Of course, the exhausting two-year-old campaign can only be a marathon, laden with hurdles (no indication of whether these are high hurdles [Rev. Wright] or low hurdles [Joe the Plumber]. With a sprint to the finish.
The candidates dive occasionally but even in the year of Michael Phelps, we’ve been mercifully spared swimming metaphors. No back strokes, butterflies or latex body suits have been evident in the election coverage.
Other Olympic sports have also been spared the tortured political references. No shot putters, pole vaulters or field hockey players seem to be running for president. Though we may have seen a bit of hop, skip and jump artistry.
As the campaign ends, with Obama ahead, we’ve been informed that he is running out the clock, a multi-sports reference.
We’re all hoping for a blow-out victory, with the winner running up the score, because, God knows, we don’t want to go into overtime. An drawn out contested election result would would be bad for the nation and downright horrible for the sport of political commentary.