Posted by mlajoie2 on 18 October, 2008 at 11:10 am. 3 comments already!


finals_nelson_69_grab.jpgThe Obamas are celebrating already. Michelle was ordering that lobster and caviar at the Waldorf. Plans for all the celebrations are, apparently, already moving forward at a feverish pace. Obama’s performance at the Al Smith fundraiser for the Catholic Archdiocesan charities, which was supposed to feature “comedy”, aroused in me a great deal of discomfort; he seems to lack true humor about himself despite the great lines written for him and there was a hard edge to some of his jabs. I think he takes himself very seriously. Contrast that with the deep, authentic self-deprecation and true joy in John McCain’s humor.

My sense is that Obama just can’t help himself and he’s getting ready for the celebration. Meanwhile, Comeback McCain seems to have this underdog mojo happening again like it has so many times. He actually seems to relish and thrive on it.

My memory was jarred. Hadn’t I seen and felt something like this before? My son was marveling over yet another Red Sox miraculous, historic comeback against the Rays last night. He made the comparison to Obama and McCain without even having seen the fundraiser. He said that he had the feeling that McCain was making a totally unexpected miracle comeback because of his authenticity, just like the Red Sox have done the past few years. I remembered the night in 2004 when the Red Sox were down three games to none to the favored Yankees after laying one of the biggest eggs in history. Curt Schilling simply said, “Why not us? Why not now?” The simple, stark, powerful truth of this statement impelled them to a remarkable team effort. Roberts stole a base and history was changed.

My son can’t remember, but I can never forget the very similar 1969 Celtics. They weren’t supposed to even make it to the Championship. They sure had a lot of pedigree and some nostalgic respect, but they were simply TOO OLD! It was Bill Russell’s last hurrah. The Lakers were the newest, exciting wave of the future featuring Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and Wilt the Stilt; they wowed everyone and swept to the Finals with a fresh sense of inevitability and celebrity. Celtics were yesterday’s news and the odds were all against them. Somehow, against any reasonable expectations, the over-the-hill gang made it to the Finals against the anointed ones. Then, lo and behold, they managed to scratch and fight and stretch it to a Game Seven; but it was the considered appraisal of the Lakers’ organization that the worn-out Celtics could not possibly have anything left to beat the new best team in the world. They loaded the balloons in the ceiling in Los Angeles. They purchased magnums of champagne on ice and all the accoutrements of celebration. Red Auerbach shrewdly showed this ostentation to his team before the game. In the final seconds, Heinsohn’s shot bounced straight up and swished through the basket and Bill Russell had his eleventh Ring. The old fighters pulled off one of their greatest achievements.

I’m no seer and I’m not predicting what will happen, but I can sure see a lot of correlation. Several times in his career, John McCain has specialized in the improbable comeback. We’ve just seen it in the primaries again. The set-up is now almost identical to 1969. McCain has a LOT of pedigree and nostalgic respect but he has been presented by the Obama campaign as TOO OLD; his time has past! Obama is the new, exciting wave of the future, someone who has wowed everyone in the media with his fresh sense of inevitability and celebrity. Somehow, McCain has managed to keep it reasonably close toward the end, but it’s obvious to the Obama campaign that’s it’s over already or else they wouldn’t be doing these things they’re doing. But like Bill Russell, it’s obvious to me John McCain has some powerful shots left in his gun with bullets just right for the crises we face. I don’t think any one of us should be surprised on November 4 if McCain clanks one on the back of the rim and has it swish perfectly down through the net. And then Obama would have to do with all of his celebratory bric-a-brac whatever it is the Lakers did with theirs in 1969.

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