Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama picked horses in the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby. Barack picked Big Brown to show. Hillary picked Eight Belles (the only filly in the field) to win. But Hillary did more than just place a bet; in a classic political metaphor, she seemed to "endorse" the filly:
I hope that everybody will go to the derby on Saturday and place just a little money on the filly for me," Sen. Clinton told supporters in Jeffersonville, Ind., ABC News reports. "I won't be able to be there this year - my daughter is going to be there and so she has strict instructions to bet on Eight Belles.How did the Derby turn out?
If you're alive and have a television or a radio, you've probably heard that Big Brown won. Hillary's horse? The filly came in second (beating 18 other colts), but broke two ankles getting the job done and had to be put down in front of over 150,000 people after she collapsed on the track.
The incident was sad. But any hope that the political metaphor could somehow go unmentioned out of respect for the dead horse - well, that's an incredibly naïve expectation.
Picture courtesy of Banamine
The Huffington Report has a good news write up on the event.
The blogosphere is peppered this morning with posts that comment on the politics of the Derby.
The people at Politikly Dot Com had this to say:
Symbolically, the Kentucky Derby was a Hillary Clinton nightmare. After touting the one filly in the race, Eight Belles, the horse finished second to the colt “Big Brown” and then collapsed after crossing the finish line, breaking both front legs, and had to euthanized in front of 150,000 people. Oh yeah, Obama beat her by 7 votes in Guam today…Peter Loffredo was more emphatic:
Woah! You think the Universe doesn't speak to us? Hillary's pick in the Kentucky Derby came in second, collapsed with two broken ankles, and had to be put to sleep!Maybe a little too emphatic.
I repeat - Woah!!
I don't have a sign in my yard for either of the two remaining candidates for the Democratic nod. I supported Edwards until he dropped out. I went to a local caucus last month and had to pick one of the two left in order to participate, so I flipped a coin and it came up for Barack. I'll vote for the Democrat in November (and against four more years of Bush government, which is what I think McCain represents).
So was the Derby a metaphor for life (or at least for politics)? I don't know. It's entertaining to point out that Big Brown (like Barack) was an under dog; Big Brown started from the 20th spot (the worst spot on the field), and a horse in that position has only won the Derby three or four times in the 134 runnings.
It's also entertaining to point out that Big Brown has only run in three previous races. Is that a metaphor for Barack's seeming lack of political experience as a first term US Senator? I don't know. But it's entertaining.
If Hillary loses in North Carolina and Indiana this week and doesn't drop out, she could be taking the legs out from under any possible future run for the White House. was the race a metaphor for that? You be the judge...
I can't close without mentioning Guam. I spent a year of my life on the scruffy, snake-infested island. The Democratic Caucus in Guam gave Barack another win, but by a razor thin margin: Obama 50.077% to Clinton's 49.923%. Only seven votes separated them in a contest where 4,521 people took part.