By Brandon Greife, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
Gooooood morning fellow politicos, and welcome to the government playoffs. My name is Brandon Greife and along with my colleague Jeremy Hagen we’ll be breaking down what has thus far been an absolutely incredible series.
Jeremy: “Yes, it’s been political maneuvering at its finest. It’s enough to make Karl Rove blush.”
Brandon: “Each team has taken two games in what is sure to be a seven game series. The Democrat Donkeys crashed out of the gate under the leadership of all-world politician Barack Obama.” Jeremy: “He really brought some hope to a franchise that hadn’t seen too much recent success.”
Brandon: “Indeed. But the Republican Elephants were not to be outdone in game two. They may lack an all-star, but with solid team play and a great game plan on the healthcare reform issue they were really able to swing the momentum their way.”
Jeremy: “Part of the problem seemed to be that the Donkeys go-to guy really disappeared in the healthcare debate. They really just didn’t have anyone to pick up the slack.”
Brandon: “You hit the nail on the head. Sure enough though you can’t keep an all-star down for long. In game three the Donkeys recaptured the lead and despite a shower of boos from the crowd were able to get healthcare passed.”
Jeremy: “At that point in the series I don’t think it could be considered anything other than an upset.”
Brandon: “Strong play off the bench from one of their key role-players-- Nancy Pelosi--really seemed to seal the deal. But as we’ve come to expect in this back-and-forth series, the Republican Elephants stampeded back in game four. After their stunning come from behind victory in the previous contest it just didn’t appear that Obama or any of the other players could really score on financial reform.”
Jeremy: “Well, part of that has to be the stifling defense from the Elephants. They were really able to steal the ball with the Wall Street bailout issue and turn it into easy political points.”
Brandon: “Maybe it's just me, but they also seemed a bit distracted out there.”
Jeremy: “Well that would be understandable. The Donkeys have a lot going on off the court. They’ve got to be concerned whether they will be able to re-sign a lot of their top talent in the off-season. They’ve already suffered some untimely retirements.”
Brandon: “Yep, Harry Reid looks like he could be playing his last few games in a Donkey uniform.”
Jeremy: “Moving on, let’s take a look ahead at the rest of the series. How do you see it playing out?”
Brandon: “I think it’s really going to come down to two things--momentum and maximizing the performance of their swing players. Neither team has been able to hold the momentum for long . The Elephants really have to prove that they were not the team they were four years ago. If they stick to their game of small government and fiscal responsibility, I think it could really resonate with the fans."
Jeremy: “Keeping the healthcare ball in play could also be important. I really don’t think the Democrats have an answer.”
Brandon: “It would seem that way. The latest news about the CBO report adding $115 billion to the cost of the bill could really hurt the Donkeys. But in the end the series will be won or lost based on the vote of independents. The last time these teams met in the playoffs independents favored the Donkeys 40 percent to 24 percent. This year the Elephants have recaptured that fan base and now sport a 38 percent to 30 percent lead according to the latest poll.”
Jeremy: “It really does look like the Republicans have put together a team capable of going deep into these playoffs. But with Barack Obama on the court I wouldn’t put anything out of the realm of possibility for the Donkeys.”
Brandon: “The question the Democrat Donkeys have to answer is whether he can do it by himself. It doesn’t appear many people have confidence in the team as a whole. After the game I heard one Donkey fan say 'Republicans ran us under financially, and the Democrats are worse.' "
Jeremy: “Tough words from your own fans!”
Brandon: “Exactly. With only three games left emotions will only heat up. It’s sure to be a wild series. Moreover, it’s anyone’s guess as to how these games will play out. Be sure to tune back in for the latest coverage of your political playoffs.”