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The Rise of the Underdogs
Author: BobR    Date: 02/22/2010 13:45:38

People love the underdog story. Everyone finds inspiration when a competitor quietly works hard and ends up coming out ahead of the more heavily hyped front-runner. It's a "Cinderella story", as the saying goes. What might be surprising is the number of times that has occurred in the last few days.

For sports aficionados, the US beat Canada in their hockey game last night, on Canadian soil. Canada was supposed to be the team to beat, coming into the Olympics riding on a "we invented the sport" wave of nationalist fervor. The US team was the underdog, expected to play well, but not be the best. Anyone who was lucky enough to watch the game last night saw the hype melt away faster than the ice beneath the US team's skates. Sad that it was played on MSNBC which is not only cable, it's not even basic cable for some customers.

Last week, DC hosted CPAC, the national conference for conservatives. This was supposed to be their zeitgeist meeting for looking toward the 2010 and 2012 elections (it's never too early to start grooming the next presidential candidate). To everyone's surprise Ron Paul was the preferred candidate in a straw poll. Not Sarah Palin (3rd), not Mitt Romney (2nd)... Considering that in 2008, the GOP forced Paul to the sidelines, this was a huge upset. Of course, it's the GOP primary voters that ultimately decide, but they can be influenced by advertising.

This seems to have knocked FAUX News off their tracks as well. Their response? Discredit the whole thing:
Remember the big conservative conference Fox News has been hyping over the past 10 days?

The Conservative Political Action Conference's presidential straw poll, a key marker of the mood among conservative voters, apparently didn't mean anything to the network. And if it did mean something, the only real result is bragging rights for the individual candidates who were so well exposed. And hey, even Dick Cheney showed up.

Or, at least that's how Fox News characterized the poll, after it was reported that Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) had won it by a wide margin.
[...]
"It is way early, it is unscientific," said a Fox News host, even as the split-screen showed Glenn Beck on stage at the conference. "Perhaps it offers nothing more than bragging rights, uh, through the course of this year. But, it is quite a, uh, enthusiastic crowd. What a difference a year makes."

Woopsie - looks like the dark horse candidate is popular... and FAUX News hitched their wagon to the wrong horse.

In other party news, it's Darth Cheney that's being thrown under the bus. Try as he might, his snarling on the weekend talk shows has not helped much. In fact, one of the more respected members of the Bush Administration, Colin Powell, has said he's full of doodoo, and backs Obama on national security:
In a Sunday appearance on CBS, former Secretary of State Colin Powell defended President Obama's national security strategy, suggesting that former Vice President Dick Cheney's attacks were not "borne out by the facts."
[...]
"In eight years the military commissions have put three people on trial. Two of them served relatively short sentences and are free," Powell said. "One guy is in jail. Meanwhile the federal courts, our Article 3 regular legal court system has put dozens of terrorists in jail. They’re fully capable of doing it. So the suggestion that somehow a military commission is the way to go isn't borne out by the history of the military commission."

Wow - the Obama administration is doing a better job against terrorists than a Republican administration? Call Jimmy the Greek and get the odds on that one!

Another Republican supporting the Obama administration (at least in regards to the stimulus money) is Ahnold Schwarzenegger:
With so many Republican politicians railing against the stimulus while taking stimulus money for their districts, one prominent Republican governor is calling out his colleagues' hypocrisy.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was proud to accept stimulus dollars for his state and praised the program for creating or saving over 150,000 jobs.

"I have been the first governor, of the Republican governors, to come out and to support the stimulus money because I say to myself, this is terrific," Schwarzenegger told ABC's Terry Moran Sunday.

In contrast to many Republicans, the California governor believes the stimulus has created and protected public and private sector jobs. "Anyone that says that it hasn't created the jobs, they should talk to the 150,000 people that have been getting jobs in California," he said.
[...]
Schwarzenegger also lashed out at GOP politicians who voted against the bill then took credit for benefits provided to their states.

It's always refreshing when hard work and doing the right thing brings rewards, despite popular "truths" which are proved to be false. It's especially rewarding when the opposition admits and agrees you had the better approach. Hopefully, we'll see more of that.

24 comments (Latest Comment: 02/23/2010 00:27:24 by Scoopster)
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