Rand Paul

Rating the Presidential Candidates By Athletic Ability

barack-obama-football

Photo credit: Business Insider

As the 2016 presidential race kicks into high gear, and Barack Obama gets set to pass the political football to his successor, you may be wondering “Who’s the best jock for the job?”

Okay, maybe you’re not wondering that. Still, many modern presidents have had strong sports associations, from George H.W. Bush’s playing days on Yale’s baseball team to Obama’s golf and basketball habits.

It’s a proven fact that playing sports develops good characteristics, like teamwork and discipline. And practicing how to cheat and get away with it.

For what it’s worth, here’s a breakdown of the main candidates’ athletic backgrounds or influences, and how it might translate to votes and political applications.

Jeb Bush was captain of his prep school tennis team. Those skills might come into play at some point, like volleying issues back and forth with other world leaders. Or, maybe physically clobbering Putin with a racquet. Otherwise, tennis may not be a big help. (B-)

Ben Carson, while appearing to be fit, does not seem to have any actual experience in sports, other than playing with his kids in the back yard. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. However, even Obama would probably poke fun at Carson’s basketball form and uniform in this picture:

Ben Carson-hoops-Vince Rodriguez

Photo credit: Victor Rodriguez

Untuck the shirt and ditch the belt. Come on, Ben! It’s game day! (C-)

John Kasich may not be much better at hoops. During a campaign stop at a gymnasium in New Hampshire, he displayed an ugly jump shot. But, at least he had the persistence to get the job done that day from behind the three-point arc, finally connecting on his ninth attempt in front of reporters and cameras. The only problem is: you don’t get nine tries to fix the economy or prevent a world war. (C)

Martin O’Malley maintains his physical fitness by following the rigorous P90X video workouts. If you’ve seen pictures of the former Maryland governor without a shirt, it’s clear that “gun control” is not an issue. (B+)

Ted Cruz has no apparent connection to sports other than through his body man. Bruce Redden was a placekicker for the Oklahoma State football team before hanging up his cleats and picking up a briefcase to trail Cruz around. Also, Cruz admits to playing some sports as a teenager, but only to avoid further ridicule he received as a young nerd. Cruz coincidentally resembles current Duke basketball star Grayson Allen, as The Washington Post pointed out in a 2015 photo comparison:

IMG_3703

Cruz is the one on the right. Of course. (D)

Marco Rubio played defensive back at a Miami high school and was good enough to score a football scholarship to Tarkio College in Missouri, where he spent one year before eventually securing degrees at the University of Florida and the University of Miami. If he’d played football at either of those schools, he wouldn’t be where he is today. (A-)

Rand Paul also played defensive back at his high school in Texas, and was on the swim team at Baylor University. So, he may be the field’s top pure athlete. (A-)

Chris Christie was a catcher on his high school baseball team. The position calls for brains and is considered a grind on the body, just like a political campaign. Christie’s body and popularity may be past their prime. (B)

Bernie Sanders ran track in high school and claims he once notched a 4:37 mile. The Vermont senator grew up a big Brooklyn Dodgers’ baseball fan and played slow-pitch softball for a team called the People’s Republic of Burlington. From the looks of the photo below, he wouldn’t have any problems throwing out the first pitch on Opening Day. But if he’s doing it as President, he’d better not go underhand. (B+)

bernie sanders-softball

Photo credit: Burlington Free Press

Donald Trump warns that the socialism Sanders espouses will eliminate golf, a sport that is currently struggling on its own in many areas around the country. Trump is a single-digit golf handicapper. His game will no doubt suffer if he ever really gets the chance to Make America Great Again. (B)

Hillary Clinton has listed speed-walking as a pastime she’s enjoyed. So, she might want to pick up the pace. (D)

Based on these stats, who do you like in 2016?

Dave Coombs hosts a morning radio show on 100.7 FM WUTQ. He rides a bike and will never run for president.

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