by Mack Williams
31 July 2016
I. GSW, KD, HRC…and Russ?
If there’s one thing that the NBA has in common with presidential politics, it’s that the outcome is not determined in July. “Winning” July technically means nothing in either situation, but on the other hand, a strong July can go a long way towards creating a successful outcome – and certainly the Golden State Warriors hope that is the case after their signing of Kevin Durant.
At first glance, it almost looks unfair, adding a thirty-point per game scorer to the Warriors team that set a regular season mark for wins with their 73-9 record. Commissioner Adam Silver spoke out against “super teams,” and KD is feeling the burn – not Bern – of blowback from fans who didn’t care for his version of The Decision. But before we order all the confetti for a parade in Hammertown, let’s remember that the most talent-laden teams – on paper, that is – do not always win. See ’76-78 Sixers and ’04 Lakers as examples.
As for Russell Westbrook, he emerges a winner by having an entire season without KD around to showcase his incredible skills, assuming OKC does not trade him in fear of losing him as well. As fans, that makes us winners too.
On the campaign side, Hillary Clinton is the clear winner of July, having been the beneficiary of a well-produced convention which featured speakers – aside from her – that people actually were interested in hearing. Her talents as a speaker rank far below those of many of the others, almost like when WWE has Paul Heyman serve as spokesman for the mic-challenged Brock Lesnar. But Hillary just needed to be solid, which she was, and should she remain solid through November, the White House is hers. She need not swing for the fences,
because within these 100 days DJT will say and tweet enough racist and xenophobic things to disqualify himself in the eyes of the majority of the electorate, like this group of voters that has some knowledge of the nature of the job…
II. Michelle Obama
The First Lady’s incredible speech which ripped the Republican nominee to shreds without once mentioning his name demonstrated that if she should ever want to seek elective office like another First Lady has, it’s there for the taking. She says no, but she’s still young.
III. President Clinton
Everyone knows Bill Clinton is one of the great speakers of our time, as well as someone who has gotten himself in hot water – such as in South Carolina in ’08 – with his mouth. So there was a little pressure on Bubba to strike the right tone, and he did with a personalization of his wife that no one else could deliver. (That said, watch out for his acidic tongue to come out should Donald’s behavior warrant it.)
IV. President Obama
This was the fourth Democratic Convention President Obama has spoken at, and it undoubtedly won’t be the last, but it is the last he will address as president…unless the people chanting “four more years” can get the constitution amended – and Hillary to stand down – prior to November. Obama certainly would mop the floor up with Trump, but in a sense the term limitation on the presidency illustrates one of the problems with the Trump candidacy. Trump’s belief that “I alone can fix it” – similar to former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani’s desire to stay in office beyond the end of his term because he claimed to be the only one that could navigate the city through the post-9/11 period – shows both a narcissism unbecoming of a potential president and a ridiculous sense of government. If you die, will it never get fixed…despite the presence of 300+ million other people?
V. Mike Bloomberg
As it turns out, New York was able to continue recovery in January of 2002 under the-then incoming mayor Mike Bloomberg. In his speech to the convention, the independent made a case for Trump’s unworthiness for the job, which of course led Donald to fire off several vindictive tweets, proving his point.
VI. Rev. William Barber
For the majority of the country unfamiliar with the work of Rev. Barber in North Carolina, we have met him now, and will likely be hearing much more from him.
VII. Non-Convention Winner
This says it all.