by Jerry Morgan
First, there is precedence for a NY Knickerbocker to run for high office. It wasn't that long ago that Bill Bradley, a Princeton grad and NY Knicks star, become the duly elected senior senator from New Jersey and later ran for President of the United States, losing a primary battle to Al Gore.
I don't know if Jeremy Lin is an Independent, Democrat or a Republican, but it doesn't matter. He shoots well from all sides of the court so he can adapt his political rhetoric to fit either party's platform. Or he could run as a third party candidate, perhaps opting for Mike Bloomberg as his VP, another prominent New Yorker with minority status and business acumen.
As I see it, however, his best chance for the oval office is to run as a Republican. Clearly, the GOP is most desperate for a viable candidate who can beat Obama and still appeal to its conservative base. They are talking a lot these days about a brokered convention, but their most favored sons: Jeb, Mitch and Chris are definite nos. So, they may just turn to Lin as a dark horse candidate to go mano a mano with Barack Obama.
How does Lin stack up against the sitting President?
Ø There is little doubt that he can beat him to the hoop in a one on one competition.
Ø His birth certificate shows that he was born in Palo Alto, California, not Taiwan and not Kenya so any potential birthers should be silenced in this regard.
Ø As undergraduates, they both attended Ivy League schools. Harvard is generally rated a notch above Columbia amongst the Ivies. They also have a much better basketball team.
Ø What did Obama major in at Columbia? Was it poly sci? I know it wasn't economics. Score one for Lin as the better economist. You don't have to be a lawyer to be a good President, but considering the state of our economy, we can sure use a Harvard economist at the helm.
Okay! We have established that Lin beats Obama one on one in all the important categories. The question is would Lin appeal to the Republican base?
Well, he is an evangelical Christian and was active in Christian clubs in Harvard. He has expressed a desire for helping inner city youth and the poor and would like to one day become a pastor.
This is in stark contrast to Mitt Romney who proudly proclaims that his campaign is not geared toward the poor but to the middle class. Hey, Mitt, what middle class? The divergence between the upper and lower class in this country has all but squeezed the middle class into oblivion with most heading into the lower strata of our socioeconomic spectrum.
Jeremy Lin would likely appoint judges to the Supreme Court with a strong conservative bent in an effort to repeal Roe v. Wade. This is consistent with the GOP platform.
How about Lin on foreign relations? He certainly would help bridge the gap between the U.S. and the rapidly emerging powerhouse, the People's Republic of China. How could Premier Wen Jiabao go against a national hero when half of China is wearing number 17 jerseys on their backs?
It would undoubtedly help resolve our issues with respect to the rogue states of North Korea and Iran if Lin could ally China with us on imposing sanctions.
So a Lin presidency should translate into greatly improved relations with China. And since Jon Huntsman is out of the race, he would be the only candidate left who speaks Mandarin.
But how would he poll against Obama? He would go neck and neck with him in Lin's home state of California which right now is solidly in the blue camp.
He would also poll very well in NY where his jersey is better advertising than any Super Pac can rival. NYC may be heavily minority, but it also has a large Asian population. Furthermore, the Knicks, Rangers, Mets and Yankees would all be in his camp. I call NY state a toss-up. He will win the south and traditionally Republican bible-belt states, including Iowa which is up for grabs.
Okay, if he is likely to run strong, who should he pick for his running mate? Jack Kemp would have been a good choice had he not died (thank you anonymous). Anyhow, I think he needs to appeal to the middle by picking a democrat. While not such an obvious choice, my pick for the bottom of the ticket isn't an athlete; but he is a fixture at the Garden and is a very good shooter, of movies that is. You guessed it; he will do the right thing as Lin's VP.
Spike Lee would pull his weight against Obama amongst African Americans and would virtually assure a win in NY state as well as California. And he has already endorsed him, not only wearing his jersey, but donning his actual high school jersey.
So, my prediction is a Lin-Lee ticket for the GOP against Obama-Biden. A race too close to call.