Mitt Romney has won the 2012 presidential nomination by promising Republicans that he would end a so-called 'culture of dependency' on welfare - welfare defined as 'free stuff' and food stamps for poor folks, not tax breaks for Big Oil or tax shelters for Bain executives.
America's demographic shift was obvious to everyone in the 2010 Census - but Republicans stubbornly rejected math, facts, and polls to their electoral peril. While Republicans tailored their platform by and for the pale stale and male, among us, Obama and Democrats are embracing America's diverse mosaic.
Sitting at a candidate rally is similar to sitting in a ballyard. Both give you the opportunity to assess the technical metrics and reflect on the intangibles - what baseball calls 'make up' and politics calls 'character' - the leadership, talent and maturity to add value to a venture.
The last time I saw Ted Kennedy was a generation after my first meeting, at the Senate subway below the Capitol on Obama's Inauguration Day. He was his usual gregarious and gracious self - with beaming smile and booming voice wishing my husband and me good luck with our pregnancy and expressing his excitement about the new president.
Baseball calls it a curve ball for a reason: you just don't know where some pitches will land. Your ace could get injured. Your golden glover could err. Your team could sit through a rain delay. Your manager could get ejected. Your bench must be broad and deep enough to overcome.
Speak out, educate, do not be intimidated by the apologists, and do not let extreme racism be mainstreamed. Hopefully there will come a time when we don't need to tell our kids that Halloween is no excuse for hate, and that blackface has no place in a civilized society.