The Buzz: In sport and politics, former governor comes up short

jwhite@sacbee.comJuly 23, 2013 

It turns out the federalist system doesn't just apply to governing.

In baseball as in politics, states enjoy the autonomy that comes with having identities and duties distinct from the federal government.

Take the Sacramento River Cats, whose midgame mascot race mirrors a version in Washington, D.C.

During every home game for the Washington Nationals, people dressed in big-headed costumes of five of America's most venerated presidents race around the ballpark.

Until late last season, Teddy Roosevelt had never won.

His woeful performance against George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln (William Howard Taft was added this season) spurred a grass-roots pro-Teddy movement, including the blog Let Teddy Win.

In Washington, fans cheer for presidents; in Sacramento, naturally, past governors are vying for the victory.

Already saddled with the undesirable legacy of being the first recalled governor in California's history, Gray Davis endures the Teddy Roosevelt-like ignominy of never having defeated his opponents, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronald Reagan.

Davis managed to eke out a single win, but it was short-lived.

"We recalled it," said River Cats spokesman Mark Ling.

– Jeremy B. White

CAMPAIGN WATCH

Today we get some electoral excitement to interrupt the summer legislative recess tedium: Two special elections. Republican Andy Vidak faces Democrat Leticia Perez in the 16th Senate District seat formerly occupied by Sen. Michael Rubio, D-Bakersfield. Nine candidates vie for the 52nd Assembly District seat formerly held by Sen. Norma Torres, D-Pomona.

– Jeremy B. White

WORTH REPEATING

"Brown has proven to be a very effective governor, and so trying to find the issues where you can draw contrast are going to be a challenge."

MARTY WILSON, Republican political consultant, on Capital Public Radio, speaking of the GOP's task in the 2014 governor's race

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