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Political Football

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NEWS
By BARRY RASCOVAR | December 12, 1993
Believe it or not, the sports metaphor ''political football'' has been part of the electoral landscape in this country for nearly 200 years. Safire's Political Dictionary quotes an 1800 reference to that effect. It means ''an innocent civic or philanthropic project used to make a political issue.''But rarely, if ever, has the phrase been used in its current context in which the game of professional football has intruded directly into the political arena. It has become an issue in the race for governor of Maryland: this time, it is a real political football.
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BUSINESS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | December 2, 2013
Virulent opposition among West Baltimore residents to a proposed CSX Transportation cargo facility in their neighborhood has raised more questions about the viability of the long-studied project. It also has disrupted key conversations on growth at the port of Baltimore and become a political football that local elected officials are finding difficult to handle. While Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake touted the project as a critical infrastructure investment ahead of next year's opening of an expanded Panama Canal, she's also begun hedging her support with more promises that residents won't be steamrolled in the process.
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BUSINESS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | December 2, 2013
Virulent opposition among West Baltimore residents to a proposed CSX Transportation cargo facility in their neighborhood has raised more questions about the viability of the long-studied project. It also has disrupted key conversations on growth at the port of Baltimore and become a political football that local elected officials are finding difficult to handle. While Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake touted the project as a critical infrastructure investment ahead of next year's opening of an expanded Panama Canal, she's also begun hedging her support with more promises that residents won't be steamrolled in the process.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | January 25, 2013
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's swan song before the Senate and House committees on foreign affairs was in a sense a prelude to any future bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. It gave Republicans a last chance to cast her as an irresponsible guardian of American security in the Benghazi terrorist attack while she held the reins at the State Department. A host of Republicans on both committees filled the official record with direct or inferential attacks on her role, certain to be dusted off and resurrected should she make a second bid for the Oval Office in 2016.
NEWS
By C. Fraser Smith and C. Fraser Smith,Staff Writer | October 4, 1992
When people think about family values in Catonsville, the think about elementary schools bursting with kids, about the day-care deficit, about keeping demonstrators out of the Fourth of July parade and about making the house payment.But in this presidential election campaign, they have watched as first Republicans and then Democrats reduced families to the status of political football.At times, says Kathy Brettschneider, a 42-year-old mother of three, the candidates have insulted the voters and diminished themselves by "talking out of both sides of their mouths."
FEATURES
By Jonathan Pitts and Jonathan Pitts,SUN STAFF | July 4, 2002
Dr. John Baer of Annapolis, a retired professor of economic education, is one of the nation's foremost scholars on the Pledge of Allegiance. His book, The Pledge of Allegiance: A Centennial History, 1892-1992, recounts the oath's origins and its past, providing among other things a glimpse of its use over the years as "a political football." Retired since 1990 from a 24-year position at Anne Arundel Community College, Baer had been able to indulge his fascination for the pledge in relative anonymity.
NEWS
By John W. Frece and John W. Frece,Annapolis Bureau of The Sun | July 3, 1991
ANNAPOLIS -- A committee headed by the lieutenant governor unanimously recommended yesterday that the state spend $10 million to purchase two more French-made medevac helicopters to be stationed permanently in Southern Maryland and on the upper Eastern Shore.The decision by the Maryland Executive Helicopter Advisory Committee, backed by a study that shows gaps in medevac coverage in those two rural areas, should end a political dispute that as recently as yesterday sparked a confrontation between Lt. Gov. Melvin A. Steinberg and his boss, Gov. William Donald Schaefer.
NEWS
August 30, 2004
Showing political muscle Mayor Martin O'Malley and members of his Cabinet got to display their handyman skills last week, when they painted hallways, patched blacktop and made other improvements to Southwestern High School. Some also used the occasion - part of O'Malley's "Believe in our Schools" campaign to fix up more than 150 campuses - to show off their muscles. Sitting atop a steamroller in the sweltering heat, the weightlifter mayor shed his black "Believe" T-shirt to reveal a white muscle shirt.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | January 25, 2013
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's swan song before the Senate and House committees on foreign affairs was in a sense a prelude to any future bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. It gave Republicans a last chance to cast her as an irresponsible guardian of American security in the Benghazi terrorist attack while she held the reins at the State Department. A host of Republicans on both committees filled the official record with direct or inferential attacks on her role, certain to be dusted off and resurrected should she make a second bid for the Oval Office in 2016.
SPORTS
By Peter Schmuck | February 1, 2009
News item: President Barack Obama has announced that he is rooting for the Pittsburgh Steelers in tonight's Super Bowl, claiming that they have long been his favorite team if you don't count his hometown Chicago Bears. My take: What, has the guy been taking sports fan lessons from Hillary Clinton? Bonus take: It's really a wily political move, cozying up to the Super Bowl team that's from one of the great political battleground states instead of the team that plays in John McCain's backyard, but I would rather he concentrate on the truly important issues facing this country ... like fixing the Bowl Championship Series.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | December 6, 2011
I had a nice afternoon with Ron and June Smith and some of their friends and family members at the Smith family home in Shrewsbury Tuesday. No tape recorders today, but I wanted to share these pictures taken by June of Ron showing me the game ball Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh gave Smith Sunday night after the Cleveland game. I know, the second picture looks like I am trying to take the ball away from Smith. What can I say? My thanks to the Smiths for inviting me into their home again.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | August 20, 2011
The giant 1976 Bicentennial Birthday Cake that would land the city in "The Guinness Book of Records" was like a lot of ideas hatched by city government in Baltimore. While it gave the weary city beside the Patapsco a shot of well-needed national publicity, in the end it became a 35-ton embarrassment. It ended with rats, rain and a public feud that pitted then-City Council President Walter S. Orlinsky and Comptroller Hyman Pressman against one another, with the taxpayers eventually picking up the tab. Time will tell whether Labor Day weekend's Baltimore Grand Prix is a successful idea or another civic idea gone expensively bad, leaving its backers with, as Ricky Ricardo used to say to Lucy, "some splainin' to do. " The checkered flag has yet to drop on next month's Grand Prix, and already the lawyers are taking the first lap around the course in the wake of a $750,000 lawsuit filed in Baltimore Circuit Court by race founder Steven S. Wehner, who claims he has yet to be paid $575,000 by race organizers.
SPORTS
By Peter Schmuck | February 1, 2009
News item: President Barack Obama has announced that he is rooting for the Pittsburgh Steelers in tonight's Super Bowl, claiming that they have long been his favorite team if you don't count his hometown Chicago Bears. My take: What, has the guy been taking sports fan lessons from Hillary Clinton? Bonus take: It's really a wily political move, cozying up to the Super Bowl team that's from one of the great political battleground states instead of the team that plays in John McCain's backyard, but I would rather he concentrate on the truly important issues facing this country ... like fixing the Bowl Championship Series.
NEWS
August 30, 2004
Showing political muscle Mayor Martin O'Malley and members of his Cabinet got to display their handyman skills last week, when they painted hallways, patched blacktop and made other improvements to Southwestern High School. Some also used the occasion - part of O'Malley's "Believe in our Schools" campaign to fix up more than 150 campuses - to show off their muscles. Sitting atop a steamroller in the sweltering heat, the weightlifter mayor shed his black "Believe" T-shirt to reveal a white muscle shirt.
FEATURES
By Jonathan Pitts and Jonathan Pitts,SUN STAFF | July 4, 2002
Dr. John Baer of Annapolis, a retired professor of economic education, is one of the nation's foremost scholars on the Pledge of Allegiance. His book, The Pledge of Allegiance: A Centennial History, 1892-1992, recounts the oath's origins and its past, providing among other things a glimpse of its use over the years as "a political football." Retired since 1990 from a 24-year position at Anne Arundel Community College, Baer had been able to indulge his fascination for the pledge in relative anonymity.
NEWS
By C. Fraser Smith and C. Fraser Smith,SUN STAFF | January 20, 1998
RAYMOND SCHOENKE -- the one-time Redskins footballer and about-to-be Democratic primary candidate for governor -- showed up in Annapolis on Friday with a pungent foretaste of his campaign's main course."
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