March 31, 2008


One of the more frustrating situations for any basketball fan is the incessant fouling at the end of the games when the score is almost certainly out of reach. Down by, say, 11, with 40 seconds to play, the losing team will continue to foul and pray for a miracle no one really wants to see. The end result is that the final 40 seconds will last for about 40 times as long, with no real impact on the final result. Sometimes this extends even longer: Texas began fouling Memphis with eight minutes to play yesterday.The problem is obvious: Fouling virtually assures the winning team of a steady trickle of points, meaning that even if the losing team hits its shots, it will take far longer to trim any deficit. For Texas’s strategy to work, they probably should have started at halftime.So why I am talking about this? Because this has been Hillary Clinton’s campaign strategy since Super Tuesday. There have been lots of shameless attacks (clearly not going for the ball), the scoreboard tells her she has no chance, and she’s airballed a few three-pointers. Yet she continues to foul, managing only to drag the contest out for far too long, and possibly inflict injury on the winner that could affect him in the next round.And if you’re wondering, yes, Mike Gravel is Davidson in this analogy.