Johnny Damon Gets Political

1201017729It’s been a while since we thought about Johnny Damon. Three years ago, he graced the cover of Boston magazine, declaring the awesomeness of Jesus. Since then, the former Red Sox centerfielder traded his socks for pinstripes and we disowned him faster than Mitt Romney turned his back on Massachusetts.

But the Yankee star is back, and this time he’s dabbling in presidential politics.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani continues to campaign in Florida, sticking to sports-themed campaign stops this week. Yesterday, the mayor took his campaign bus for a spin on a NASCAR track, which led to a bevy of unfortunate metaphors for his campaign.

In a photo op designed to lift his campaign by appealing to fans of one of Florida’s key pastimes — auto racing — the Giuliani bus, which bears the logo, “Florida is Rudy Country,” couldn’t hit race speeds but moved as fast as possible without tipping over onto the banked track.

But Rudy wasn’t looking to appeal only to the redneck population of Florida. He also got an endorsement from a player on his second-favorite baseball team.

New York Yankees slugger Johnny Damon pitched one for Giuliani, endorsing the former New York City mayor at an event in Orlando, Fla.

“He made New York closer. He made America closer, and he’s going to make this country a better place. America’s mayor, the next president of the United States, Rudy Giuliani,” Damon said, introducing the candidate.

God, we forgot how painful it is to listen to Damon talk. How exactly does a politician make a city or a country “closer?” Did he pass a law requiring New Yorkers to live within a certain proximity to one another? It may be a convoluted reference to 9/11, but we don’t recall Giuliani leading any “Kumbaya” sing-alongs around the smoking embers of the World Trade Center.

It’s just further proof that in this post-2004 world, Johnny Damon doesn’t know how to pick a winner.