Thank you and good-bye
posted by Howard Wasserman
Thanks to Deven and the rest of the CoOp crew for allowing me to spend some time here, and even to hang around for an extra week. I know there is some reader overlap between my regular spot at Prawfs and here, but it was a nice chance to reach to a new group of readers. And I appreciate the many comments to some of my posts; there was some engaged and engaging conversation.
One thing I have found interesting in the past month is the difficulty of writing about procedure when it is linked to politics, especially a presidential election when passions are running high; it often becomes difficult to separate the procedural issues from the substance of the election. So if procedure and politics are tough, how about sports and politics? How did some of the sports predictors do this presidential election?
1) Prior to this year, in 16 of the 17 presidential elections since the Redskins moved to Washington in 1937, the outcome of the team’s final home game before the election has matched the electoral result: A ‘Skins win and the incumbent party retains the White House, a ‘Skins loss and the incumbent party loses the White House. Make it 17 out of 18: The Redskins were pounded by the Steelers at home on Monday and the non-incumbent party won the White House on Tuesday.
2) One of the more venerable predictors has been the World Series winner (I learned about it in my freshman government class in 1986): American League team means a Republican President, National League team means a Democratic President. From 1952 until 1976, it worked every year. Then from 1980 until 1996, it worked only once–the Detroit Tigers and Ronald Reagan in 1984. But we now are 3-for-3 in the new Millenium–Bush/Yankees in 2000, Bush/Red Sox in 2004, and now, Obama/Phillies.
3) Finally, the election to which this one is most-often compared (in terms of potentially marking an ideological and generational political sea change behind an eloquent leader) is Ronald Reagan’s win in 1980. The last time the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series? 1980. Some food for thought.
Thanks again to CoOp for inviting me to write and to all of you for reading.