When Sen. Hillary Clinton arrives in Montana this weekend, I’d like her to answer one question: Has she ever seen the academy-award winning, 1976 movie “Rocky”? She likened herself to the boxer this week, but I reckon the answer is “no.” And while I am not an expert on the presidential candidate’s taste or habits, I do love boxing and do have a “Rocky” poster framed on my wall.
“Let me tell you something, when it comes to finishing a fight, Rocky and I have a lot in common,” Clinton told the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO. “I never quit. I never give up.”
I appreciate Clinton’s drive, but she has little in common with arguably the greatest (fictional) underdog of all time. Clinton grew up in suburban Park Ridge, Ill., attended Wellesley College and quickly blossomed in the business and political world. She is tenacious, but was never a loan shark on the streets of Philadelphia, nor worked at a meat packing plant, nor beaten to a bloody pulp during a 15-round fight with heavyweight champion Apollo Creed. In fact, she is still a heavy favorite in Pennsylvania, whose voters she was trying to woo.
As the Democratic presidential primary slogs on, both candidates are using boxing narratives to cast themselves as Cinderallas, which is much more attractive to voters than the “favored winner” label.
Weeks ago, before the primaries in Ohio and Texas, Sen. Barack Obama compared himself to an upstart. “She’s the champ,” he said, referring to his opponent. “She’s part of the Democratic network in Washington and, you know, if you’re the titleholder, then you don’t lose it on points. You’ve got to be knocked out.” At the time, he had won 11 straight races – not exactly a long shot anymore.
Neither candidate is a prizefighter and neither will literally get bloodied in this primary unless they trip and fall – Chevy Chase-style – over a lectern. But, more importantly, neither wants to be considered the champ before the contest is over. Or as Politico wrote, “No one wants to be Apollo Creed.”
Carl Weathers must feel slighted.
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