Duthie: The Politics Of Puck

James Duthie
11/2/2008 9:19:35 PM
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Who says politics and hockey don't mix? A close examination of the U.S. Presidential race shows the two have never been more intertwined.

In fact, the hockey-related opinions and puck policies of the candidates may well decide the next leader of the free world. You think I'm kidding? Just take a look at the following actual quotes from the key figures in the race. (Now, I can't 100 percent confirm the context of the statements, but I'm pretty sure I know what they were talking about.)

"I have fought against excessive spending my entire career, but we need to make it a priority to take care of our veterans." - Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain, on the Daniel Alfredsson contract extension.

"It's not something that I'm proud of. It was a mistake as a young man." - Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama, on the time he bet on the Leafs to win the Cup.

"We have no choice but to eliminate the threat. This is a guy who is an extreme danger to the world." - Democratic Vice-Presidential Candidate Joe Biden, on Sean Avery.

"May I call you Joe?" - Republican Vice-Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin, upon meeting seldom-used Carolina Hurricane defenceman Josef Melichar.

"We've got a lot of pent-up anger and bitterness and misunderstanding. But the anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists." - Obama, addressing the Canadiens feelings towards Pavel Valentenko, who bolted for Russia.

"We're no longer staring into the abyss of defeat and we can now look ahead to the genuine prospect of success." - McCain, on the Phoenix Coyotes.  Or maybe it was the Blackhawks.  He gets confused sometimes.

"It's a crisis.  It's a toxic mess, really," - Palin, on the Atlanta Thrashers' defence.

"I think he is a transformational figure...he has energized a lot of people around the world." - Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, on Ottawa Senators' mascot Spartacat.

"I think you may have noticed that Senator Obama's supporters have been saying some pretty nasty things about Western Pennsylvania lately. And you know, I couldn't agree with them more!" - Though widely misinterpreted as a gaffe, McCain was actually revealing the disdain for the Penguins he shares with Obama supporters.

"Why can't I just eat my waffle?" - Obama, after being offered free Islanders tickets.

"All of 'em, any of 'em that have been in front of me over all these years." - Palin, when asked to name her favourite hockey player.

"I called him and asked him if he found anything offensive. And he just laughed and he said, 'Of course I don't. We all know what's going on."  - Former president Bill Clinton, on his profanity-laced exchange with Commissioner Gary Bettman, after they ran into each other at a Burger King in New York (Clinton was angry about unpenalized headshots).

"What Washington needs is adult supervision." - Obama, after watching Alexander Ovechkin and his teammates pretend to be a rock band for a team video.

"We are paying a very heavy price for the mismanagement - that's the kindest word I can give you." - McCain, a Leafs fan, commenting on the last forty-odd years of the franchise.

"The German asparagus are fabulous." - President George W. Bush. I actually don't have a hockey reference here. That's just my favourite George Bush quote I found on Google.

"You can put lipstick on a pig. It's still a pig." - Obama, commenting on the fact the NHL on TSN panel now wears more make-up because of High Definition.

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