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March 05, 2008

The Politics of Skiing AND Snowboarding

There is absolutely no telling what we'll find on the hills after this storm is finished. Nothing will surprise me. Fourteen inches, bare ground and mud puddles. At this point of a roller-coaster winter that's allowed me to coin the term "precipitation pu-pu platter," and use it often, I am completely unnonplussable (consider that term minted as well).

At least this storm saved its havoc wreaking for the mountains and didn't interfere with Tuesday's local elections and presidential primaries, allowing Vermont to speak up loudly for its man Barack. (Note: the slant thinly veiled here absolutely represents the views of Snowbloggan and its affiliates, if we had any.)

I remember when John Kerry was running for president and he went for a winter vacation at Sun Valley, Idaho. He was surely a terrible presidential candidate, but he is a decent skier and snowboarder, not to mention kitesurfer (he dominates the annual Congressional kitesurfing contest.)

During his 2004 Sun Valley trip, in the midst of a neck-and-neck race with The Current Occupant (to borrow a device to avoid naming He Who Shall Not Be Named from the great Garrison Keillor), Kerry flashed his Stein Eriksen form for the cameras.

Pictures flew across the wires. And that, on its own, would have been nice. But not more than two hours later, several more photos flew across the wires of Kerry at Sun Valley, only this time he was riding his snowboard. I mean, is it any wonder he was labeled a flip-flopper and managed to lose to That Guy. "I actually started skiing before I started snowboarding," you could almost hear him say.

Not that doing both is a bad thing. Quite the contrary. But it was just such a staged attempt at all-inclusiveness, and it illustrated the worst of politicking using winter sports of all things.

Thankfully, Mr. Kerry has kept his recreation habits to himself this political season, although Iā€™m keeping guard for a photo of him learning to telemark.

We may have loose granular for the foreseeable future, we may have rock-solid moguls that will jar your back to the bone, but at least we have presidential candidates that blow the doors off those in 2004 ā€” McCain included ā€” skiing and snowboarding ability notwithstanding.

March 5, 2008 at 01:03 PM | Permalink


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