(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
TAMPA, Fla. -- Thanks, senator, we really needed a reminder.
Barack Obama is campaigning today in, of all places, Tampa, where Red Sox fans' hearts were broken last night in a season-ending Game 7 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. Oh, well, we pushed them to the brink, right?
As if the dateline from Obama's event wasn't enough salt in the wound, he chose a half-dozen Rays players to introduce him, including relief pitcher David Price, who closed the door on the Sox in the late innings. The players basked in their win, and helped Obama make a pitch for early voting, which begins today in Florida.
"Give it up for the Rays!" Obama said to cheers after giving high-fives and hugs to Price and his cohorts.
Oh, and if you didn't think this was torture enough, this all happened at (gulp) George Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, the winter home to the New York Yankees.
"I have said from the beginning that I am a unity candidate, bringing people together," Obama said. "So when you see a White Sox fan showing love to the Rays, and the Rays showing some love back, you know we're onto something right here."
Obama joked that he was going to get a mohawk, in solidarity. "My political advisers said they weren't sure how that was going to play with swing voters," he said. "But I congratulate them."
He was careful, though, not to necessarily endorse the Rays in their World Series match-up against the Phillies. It's easy to understand why: The Phillies, too, hail from an important swing state up north, a little battleground called Pennsylvania.
When Obama finished his remarks, organizers blared John Fogerty's "Centerfield" from the speakers, before they got to the usual post-speech soundtrack of Stevie Wonder.
Republicans tried to argue that Obama has flip-flopped on his baseball loyalties, noting that he said in Philadelphia last week, "I am a White Sox fan, but since the White Sox are out of it, I'll root for the Phillies now."
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.