Palin Likes The Underdog In Baseball, Too

(CBS)
From CBS News' Scott Conroy:

(SALEM, N.H.) Sarah Palin ruffled some feathers in New England last week when she praised the Tampa Bay Rays—the Red Sox American League playoff opponent—at a rally in Jacksonville.

"[T]he people in this area know a little something about turning an underdog into a victor," she said last Tuesday. "And we're counting on you to help us do that Nov. 4th."

But now that the Red Sox are the team with their backs against the wall, the candidate whose favorite movies are "Rudy" and "Hoosiers" has found inspiration in New England's favorite team.

"New Hampshire, I gotta tell ya, I am looking forward to the debate tonight right here in Red Sox nation," Palin said here in Salem, which is about a 45 minute drive from Fenway Park.

"We're just 20 days out from the election and it's gonna come right down to the wire, and we're counting on you because Red Sox fans know how to turn an underdog into a victor, and that's exactly what you can help us do on Nov. 4!"

This is the second straight year that a candidate has ruffled some feathers over the delicate issue of baseball loyalties. Last October, Rudy Giuliani was nearly put up on charges of treason in New York for declaring that he was rooting for the hated Red Sox in the World Series.

Democratic National Committee spokesman Damien LaVera jumped all over Palin for refusing to commit to one baseball squad.

"Apparently this team of mavericks thinks straight talk means saying one thing to Rays fans and another to Red Sox fans," he said. "Fortunately, voters in both Red Sox nation and Florida can put a champion for working families in the White House by electing Barack Obama."

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    Scott Conroy is a National Political Reporter for RealClearPolitics and a contributor for CBS News.