ABC News(NEW YORK) — The Chicago Cubs’ dramatic finish to the World Series marked the end of the longest title drought in Major League Baseball, and it seemed for a moment that the national conversation had veered away from the daily drama of the 2016 presidential election.
But a look back on the series also shows just how much the campaign found its way into the championship of “America’s pastime,” illustrated not just through the endless string of campaign commercials but through several behind-the-scenes storylines that stayed mostly out of the limelight.
Obama Invite Would Rob Successor of Cubs Visit
Early this morning after the Cubs’ win, President Obama tweeted a congratulations to his hometown team and extended an invitation to them for a White House visit “before I leave.”
It happened: @Cubs win World Series. That’s change even this South Sider can believe in. Want to come to the White House before I leave?
— President Obama (@POTUS) November 3, 2016
Obama seemed unaware that his invitation would actually rob his eventual successor of the same opportunity afforded to him after he took office eight years ago.
In his first year, Obama welcomed the 2008 World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies to the White House, continuing with the more recent tradition of inviting the team around the start of the next baseball season.
If Hillary Clinton is elected Nov. 8, it’s possible that Obama would invite her to also attend the ceremony. Considering the vitriol exchanged between the two, however, it’s safe to say it’s less likely a similar invitation would be extended to a president-elect Donald Trump.
The White House declined to comment on the early invitation and its implications.
The Cubs and Donald Trump
The early invite is particularly notable because of the support from members of the Cubs-owning Ricketts’ family for Trump.
Media reports that some members of the billionaire family were providing major financial backing to Trump’s White House run caused a stir among some in the Cubs’ faithful fan-base, with one even penning a Chicago Tribune letter to the editor announcing his retreat from supporting the team.
If Trump wins the White House next Tuesday, the Ricketts might prefer the Cubs wait to accept an invitation until the Trump family gets settled inside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Beating the Odds
The Cubs’ come-from-behind victory against the Cleveland Indians may offer Trump supporters a silver lining when looking at the odds their candidate faces in his contest.
As FiveThirtyEight pointed out when the Cubs were facing a 3-1 deficit, they actually faced a much slimmer chance of winning than Trump.
After Game 4, the Cubs had a 15 percent chance of a come-from-behind win, while FiveThirtyEight now gives Trump a 34.2 percent chance of beating Clinton.
Both candidates are likely wise not to put their White House hopes in the hands of baseball, however.
Consider the widely debunked theory that there is a trend between the winner of the World Series and the winner of the presidential election based on whether the team is from the National League and the American League.
The White House Rivalry
It’s safe to call Obama a bandwagon fan; just don’t say the same about his wife.
Obama himself admits that he is a longtime Chicago White Sox fan, but first lady Michelle Obama has been tracking the post-season via her Twitter and congratulated her team on making it to Game 7 Wednesday night.
Go @Cubs, go! Been rooting for you since I was a kid, and so incredibly proud tonight. #FlytheW -mo
— The First Lady (@FLOTUS) November 3, 2016
The president, on the other hand, was able to swallow some pride and even took time from a Clinton campaign rally in Florida today to mark the Cubs’ win, saying, “even for a White Sox fan, [it] is a pretty big deal.”
“I was watching something on television, they explained the last time the Cubs had won, Thomas Edison was alive and they hadn’t invented sliced bread yet,” Obama said. “So you know the expression the greatest thing since sliced bread? This is actually for Cubs fans the greatest thing since sliced bread.”
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