As if electoral politics hasn’t already become enough like rooting for a sports team, John Kerry made an appeal to New England Patriots fans on the 2020 campaign trail Sunday.
Kerry endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden in the Democratic presidential primary last week. And during a campaign appearance Sunday in Nashua, the former Massachusetts senator and U.S. secretary of state compared Biden to the region’s favorite football team and quarterback.
“Call it whatever you want: experience, wisdom, muscle memory; Joe Biden is a little bit like the New England Patriots, I think,” Kerry said.
“Fun to watch the promise and potential of young quarterbacks,” he continued. “But come February, I like having an experienced quarterback like Tom Brady calling those plays.”
Kerry argued that the policy debates between Biden and his Democratic opponents were trivial compared to the difference between whoever the party nominates and President Donald Trump. Given those stakes and their longtime relationship in the Senate and Obama administration, he made the case for Biden as the candidate best equipped to win the general election and start making progress in office from “day one.”
The Patriots comparison could have come at a better time. The team, which started out the season strong, has stumbled in recent weeks, losing two straight games and three of their last five. Similarly, Biden himself has seen his support dip in early-voting states, though he remains the frontrunner in national polling.
But Kerry’s remarks also raise a pressing question: Who are the NFL equivalents of the other leading Democratic primary candidates?
If Biden is Brady, which young quarterback is Pete Buttigieg? Lamar Jackson? Jimmy Garopollo? Jared Goff? It probably depends on how favorably you view the mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
Not everyone in the race is a “young” quarterback, to use Kerry’s metaphor.
Bernie Sanders could perhaps be Drew Brees, the 40-year-old leader of the New Orleans Saints — a fellow septuagenarian in NFL years — whose loyal fans will tell you how his most recent Super Bowl/Democratic nomination run was undercut by a supposedly neutral third-party, whether it be the NFC championship referees last January or the Democratic National Committee in 2016.
Where does that leave the policy-armed Elizabeth Warren among the top-tier quarterbacks? Aaron Rodgers, a seasoned yet controversial veteran, or the talented but unproven Patrick Mahomes?
If anything’s for certain, it’s that, for better or worse, Tulsi Gabbard is probably Colin Kaepernick. But if you have any better comparisons, tell us in the comments below.