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Date: Fri 21-Aug-1998



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Date: Fri 21-Aug-1998

Publication: Bee

Author: CURT

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ED INK: Picking Winners

Enjoy these final days of summer while you can. This week and next will be the

last two weeks before the fall election campaigns get going in earnest.

Normally, after a long, quiet summer, we would be looking forward to the

company of politicians as they joust over the often minor differences that

distinguish each from the others. This year, however, our capacity to tolerate

political posturing seems to be prematurely depleted, thanks to President

Clinton's sordid personal drama and the attendant political hysteria inside

the Washington, D.C., beltway, where our elected leaders seem to be stuck in

spin cycle. Now, when we ought to be whetting our appetite for some political

competition in the state and federal legislative races, we find ourselves

wanting nothing more than to take refuge in long, desultory evenings of

watching the New York Yankees play their way into the history books.

How nice it would be if our government was as good as the Yankees are this

year. They are the model of competence, selflessness, hard work, and

professionalism. They come to work every day and challenge themselves to do

better. They don't brag. They let their accomplishments speak for themselves.

The only spin we see is on David Cone's take-no-prisoners splitter. Their

talent is so deep that extraordinarily good players, like Daryl Strawberry,

Joe Girardi, and Tim Raines, often have to ride the bench, and they do it

without complaint, knowing that in every great quest there are times when

self-interest must take a back seat to the greater good. And, remarkably,

everyone on the team actually seems to like each other. Not only are they

doing a good job, they are having a good time. Consequently, the New York

Yankees are on track to win more games this year than any other team in the

history of the game.

As much as we would like to substitute baseball for politics this fall, we

have to remember that in the game of democracy, everyone is part of the team,

especially the voters. We have to chose the players we put on the field. We

have to do the work of sorting them out according to their skill, their

intelligence, and, alas, their personal integrity.

As we scout the candidates this year, we will hold the Yankees in mind. We

will be looking for competence, selflessness, hard work, and professionalism.

We will not be looking for dissembling braggarts. And if we do our job as

voters well, at about the same time the New York Yankees are winning the World

Series, we will be electing a team of winners to represent us in our state and

federal governments.

Comments are open. Be civil.

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