World Series fever

December 15, 2010 11:27:57 AM PST
New York City has once again gone kookoo. Unemployment is more than 10 percent, the economy remains in the tank and far too many countries that shouldn't have nuclear capabilities have them. But that's not stopping millions of New Yorkers from feasting on a World Series frenzy. (Although Mother Nature may have won the battle with the fanatics today - a much ballyhooed pep rally in Times Square drew only about 150 people. It was hosted by Mayor Bloomberg, who I suspect has had more people at his house for a party.)

I have some friends who, if I didn't know better, I'd think they were part owners of the Yankees. They talk in terms of "we" and seem to embrace every victory or defeat with a passion that I thought was reserved only for your family or your business.

Maybe I'm just jaded. To be sure, there's no denying the suspended-reality attitude that takes over during these large communal experiences. People plan their day around the timing of the first pitch, and the topic of conversation for many simply doesn't extend past the foul lines.

Wonder what die-hard Mets fans are doing about this series? They have no love for either the Phillies or the Yankees. They're not so much waiting for first pitch as they are waiting for spring training.

Tonight at 11, we'll have coverage of the game and the side stories - like the Mets fans. Scott Clark leads our reporting.

Also at 11, what's the old saw about not loaning money to friends or family? The truth is it's sometimes hard to avoid, especially during these hard times. So what to do? Tonight, Nina Pineda looks at the issue from all sides: how to ask for a loan from a relative, and how to say no if you're the one getting asked.

And Sarah Palin is in the news. Again. But not for the reasons that will help her. Again.

Her former almost-son-in-law, Levi Johnston, told CBS News that Palin has joked about her son's Down Syndrome. Palin lashed out today, denying she joked about Trig's disability and blasting CBS "for continually providing a forum to propagate lies."

Meanwhile, a new CNN poll has some peculiar numbers regarding the former vice presidential candidate from Alaska. More than 70 percent say she is not qualified to be president. But about two-thirds say she's a good role model for women.

And that sparked a fairly spirited discussion in the newsroom about whether that's a contradiction or something that's admirable - being a good role model for women, but not qualified to be president. There are many who believe she's neither a good role model nor qualified to be president, and there are some who believe she is both of those.

No comment from Ms. Palin about the newest poll, but it can't be great news for her. I suspect she'll make much of the fact that nearly 29 percent feel otherwise about her qualifications to be president.

Speaking of politics, thanks to all of you who wrote into our Web site, 7Online.com, to offer comments about last night's New York mayor debate. It was certainly lively - and an honor for me to again serve as moderator.

The last question, as it sometimes does, seemed to make the most news. It was one of those lightning-round-type questions - designed to fill time at the end. How would, I asked both candidates, they grade each other on the jobs they've done over the past eight years?

Bill Thompson laughed and then said he'd be charitable and give Mike Bloomberg a "D-minus." For a split second, I pondered asking him if that was his final answer and give him a chance to answer again. But he said what he said, and so I didn't. The crowd gasped.

Mayor Bloomberg didn't offer a specific grade about Thompson's performance as city comptroller, but he took a different tact, saying Thompson had been a pretty good comptroller.

Today, the Bloomberg campaign used Thompson's grading to mock the comptroller in a new ad.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER


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