Why should only athletes be performance enhanced?
In a move that promises to shake up the already quaking New York City mayoral race, suspended Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez announced that he was throwing his batting helmet into the ring. “I’ve proven that I am shameless enough to be a great politician,” Mr. Rodriguez said in a Youtube video announcing his candidacy. “I want to take my performance enhanced talents where they will be appreciated.”
Embattled Democratic candidate Anthony Weiner immediately jumped on Mr. Rodriguez’s alleged steroid use, calling him a cheater. “A-Fraud has lost the trust of New Yorkers by trying to get a special advantage over his opponents,” Mr. Weiner said. “I am willing to take a drug test to prove that I am not taking PEDs, including Viagra.”
A Rodriguez campaign spokesperson, Lance Armstrong, shot back at Mr. Weiner. “Anthony is the real phony in this race,” Mr. Braun said. “It is obvious that the images of his lower extremities he’s been Twittering are photoshopped.”
Christine Quinn, the Democratic frontrunner, also weighed in on Mr. Rodriguez’s entry into the mayoral field. “There is no place for performance enhanced drug use in politics,” Ms. Quinn said during an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “My propensity for hypocrisy and self-promotion are all natural.”
Another mayoral hopeful, Bill Thompson, trying to counter Mr. Rodriguez’s appeal to baseball fans, announced his opposition to the stopping and frisking of spectators as they enter stadiums. “We must end the discriminatory practice of profiling all baseball fans as criminals,” Mr. Thompson said, while campaigning at the New York Mets’ Citi Field.
According to FOX News political consultant Joe Trippi the sharp reaction to Mr. Rodriguez’s political gambit reflects his strength as a candidate. “A-Rod drew record numbers in the All Star Game voting, so he has a strong base,” Mr. Trippi said, on Hannity’s America. “He also comes with his own nom de guerre, although A-Rod isn’t as eye-catching as Carlos Danger.”
But Democratic strategist James Carville wonders if Mr. Rodriguez’s status as a single male will hurt his appeal. “Given that he’s unmarried, he’s going to have a hard time coming up with a sex scandal that keeps his name recognition high,” Mr. Carville told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
Mr. Rodriguez addressed Mr. Carville’s remarks while appearing on ESPN’s Mike and Mike show. “I’ve bedded more hot babes than Weiner and Spitzer combined,” Mr. Rodriguez said. “I’m sure some of my exes have lewd photos of me they’ll be sharing with the public.” He also told listeners that his first priority as mayor would be to rename Yankee Stadium as Biogenesis Field.
The media’s focus on Mr. Rodriguez could benefit City Comptroller candidate Elliot Spitzer, by taking attention away from the former governor’s sexual peccadilloes. But in an appearance on The Howard Stern Show, Mr. Spitzer told listeners that he wanted the press to cover the issues. “I hope that journalists resist adding to the distraction created by A-Rod and instead focus on what average New Yorkers care about, such as the number, timing and content of Anthony Weiner’s tweets.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued a statement which seemed aimed at the field of candidates trying to succeed him. “I have instructed the Board of Elections to draw up regulations which would ban over-sized egos from politics,” the statement read, which was issued from Mr. Bloomberg’s vacation home atop Mount Olympus in Greece. “Political scientists have proven that excessive chutzpah is dangerous to the electorate’s health.”
Despite the push-back against Mr. Rodriguez’s candidacy, polls show that 90 percent of Yankees fans intend to vote for the former all star. One respondent to the poll, Wilfredo Suarez of the Bronx, summed up the sentiment of these voters. “I figure that voting A-Rod in as mayor is the only way to make sure that he never wears a Yankees uniform again.”
A shorter version of this article first ran in the amNewYork newspaper. This performance enhanced version is reprinted with permission.