THE PLANK AUGUST 15, 2008
First it was Georgia. Now, along comes another issue seemingly tailor-made for John McCain to obsess over: corrupt, pro-Chinese Olympic boxing judges.
There's not yet proof, but the Washington Post reports that Olympic judges look like they've tilted to China all week--enough for the U.S. boxing team to call a foul. (The WP cites "growing complaints that the judging at this Olympics has deteriorated into a farce.") As Mike Crowley explained in last week's TNR, this is the kind of thing McCain might find irresistible:
In the Senate, McCain has sought to translate his love of boxing into policy. Initially, he was motivated by the grim lives of journeymen boxers, for whom he battled to win health care and pensions. "John has a real love for the sport, and it was evident," says the famed boxing commentator Bert Sugar, between drags on a cigar. "Of all the pressing problems, boxing wasn't one of them. And, yet, he devoted his time and saw it through."
McCain was especially fixated on the fairness and integrity of the sport, leading him to denounce crooked oversight and push (thus far unsuccessfully) for a federal oversight commission. "When there is a lack of fairness, he fights against it," says Ken Nahigian, a former top McCain aide on the Senate Commerce Committee who coordinated McCain's boxing policy fights. "The boxing bill was sort of a microcosm of his philosophy." Indeed, McCain is often stirred by evidence of unfair play in sports--railing against steroid abuse in baseball and seeking to ban Internet gambling on the grounds that players have no way of knowing whether the games are rigged.
Read the whole thing. Maybe Obama should get out in front of this issue so he isn't caught off guard again.