Monday, June 02, 2008

The Rules of the Game

Some years ago, a friend and I played tennis. My game was unusually sharp that night, and I smoked him in the first set, 6-0.

He won the second set, 7-6. He also won the third set, 6-4.

As we shook hands at the net, I said to him, "You played really well. It is a shame that you had to lose."

He looked at me like I had lost my mind. "What are you talking about? I won," he replied.

"No, I won," I insisted. "You only won13 games; I won 16."

As he started to argue, I laughed and said, "Just kidding."

What my friend regarded as ridiculous, and I meant as a joke, is now being put forth as a serious argument by the campaign of Hillary Clinton. Pundits are now debating the question of how to calculate who won the popular vote in the Democratic campaign. Of course, that question is irrelevant. A tennis match is won by the player prevailing in the sets, not games. Presidential campaign nominations are determined by delegates, not accumulated votes.

However, for a candidate who for months has shown a willingness to stoop to anything to win, no amount of desperation is too embarrassing to try.

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