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World Series politics

The campaigns of Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton dragged the World Series into presidential politics this week, with former New York City mayor Giuliani saying he was rooting for the Red Sox even though he

What happenedThe campaigns of Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton dragged the World Series into presidential politics this week, with former New York City mayor Giuliani saying he was rooting for the Red Sox even though he’s a fan of their rivals, the New York Yankees. At her birthday fundraiser Thursday night, Sen. Clinton (D-N.Y.) remained a Yankee fan, and would not try to “curry favor” by backing either the Red Sox or the Colorado Rockies in the Series.

What the commentators saidThis isn’t just about baseball, said Ben Smith in his blog at The Politico. Giuliani’s decision to put on a Red Sox cap “mattered,” and not just on his home turf, where it drove the local tabloids “nuts.” By turning his back on his very public and vocal support for the Yankees, Giuliani lost “an element of his central contrast with Hillary: His authenticity versus her calculation.”

Yankees fans say Giuliani is doing just what the Chicago-born Clinton did when she launched her first bid for a New York Senate seat and claimed to be a lifelong Yankees fan, said the Boston Herald’s Inside Track blog. No wonder the local tabloids skewered Giuliani, the Republican front-runner, this week with headlines like “Mass. Kisser,” and “Traitor!” and “The Yankee Flipper.” This was clearly a “bald attempt to curry favor with first-in-the-nation New Hampshire voters” who are crazy about the Red Sox.

Come on, said Matthew E. Berger in MSNBC’s First Read blog. Maybe Giuliani is just an American League fan, as he says, rooting for the the American League’s team in the World Series. Still, the move could cost Giuliani dearly if the Red Sox keep trouncing the Rockies. As New York Post reporter Carl Campanile wrote, “This is the biggest rivalry in sports. A lot of Yankees fans despise the Red Sox. If they are in the championship, it is heresy to support them.”

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