Bush sees life in sporting terms
By Ben Feller, Associated Press Writer | July 15, 2007
WASHINGTON --Running the country is no game. It just sounds like one sometimes. In the Bush White House, sports are a metaphor for life. Better keep up if you want to play.
Consider how President Bush describes his time left in office.
"I'm going to sprint to the finish," he likes to say.
The sports imagery changes when slow is the preferred way to go for the White House. Take the way the administration defends its global warming strategy against criticism it has lacked urgency.
"This is a marathon," explained Jim Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. "It's not a sprint."
Sports metaphors have become a pervasive way for Bush and his team to describe almost anything. Expressing ideas in terms of athletics is so routine in the highest levels of government -- just as it is in more typical workplaces -- that even people who do not follow sports are used to it.
Fairness means leveling the playing field; focus is keeping your eye on the ball. Send in the heavy hitters if you want results. If sacrifice is called for, then take one for the team.
When Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was forced to answer critics of a plan to shut down North Korea's nuclear program, she needed a way to urge patience. So, naturally, the administration's top diplomat used the language of a football game.
"This is still the first quarter," she said. "There is still a lot of time to go on the clock."
But what game that you can think of gives you unlimited strikes, no outs?