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November 04, 2008
by Ryan Hudson
Today, Americans go to the polls to decide between John McCain and Barack Obama and elect the 44th President of the United States. It is the same process that has occurred in our country for over 200 years, but this year is noticeably different and noteworthy for an obvious reason: both presidential hopefuls are two of the more athletic candidates in our nation’s history. Whereas many today are concerned with a their political beliefs, we at RealClearSports are decidedly more interested with their physical talents.
Sen. John McCain played high school football but really found his athletic home in the boxing ring. While at the U.S. Naval Academy, McCain took part in weekly boxing matches, despite his rather slim build and scrawny stature. The Navy lightweight often found himself against large odds, but they never seemed to affect him. "I whaled away," he recalls. Otto Helwig, a champion heavyweight and one of McCain's teammates, said, "He was not the most skilled, but he was the most feared ... He never gave up."
Obama’s career on the court began in Hawaiʻi on his high school’s basketball team, shifted to a Massachusetts prison where convicts bet on the winner, transpired in a one-on-one game against his future brother-in-law and now continues in pick-up games that have made their way onto YouTube.
Surprisingly though, despite his past accomplishments, if Obama, one of our Top 10 Athletic Democrats, happens to win today (and according to the Redskins Rule, he will), he’d quickly become one of the worst athletic presidents. Why? Because you have to be a pretty awful athlete to bowl a 37.
Whichever candidate comes out on top today, they will be able to join the long list of athletic presidents -- George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, George H.W. Bush, Gerald Ford. But what about the opposite end of the spectrum, those Commander in Chiefs who could never hack it in the ring, on the court, or out on the field? With that we introduce the Top 10 Least Athletic Presidents.