What a difference 12 years makes.
Back in 2000, despite a booming economy and national surplus, former President Bill Clinton's personal indiscretions so poisoned Al Gore's chances in the state of Florida that former Texas Governor George W. Bush (depending on what political chat show gasbag, on either side, you rank as your favorite) barely took the popular vote in the state. A dozen years later, Clinton gets a personalized jersey and rousing standing ovation from the American Airlines Arena crowd in Miami, during the Heat's trampling of the Orlando Magic. Via Pro Basketball Talk, watch:
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, ever the hoops obsessive, swore up and down that he wasn't even aware Clinton was in the building. From the Heat Index:
Yet Spoelstra insists he was oblivious to it all, and didn't know Clinton was in the building until he spoke with the media after the game. Spoelstra's reaction drew laughter in the press room.
"I didn't know," Spoelstra said after the Heat's 90-78 victory. "Is he still here? Do I have a chance to shake his hand?"
I shook his hand once, Erik. Nothing special. He's shorter than you think he is, too, though I suppose everyone under 6-6 looks short to a basketball coach.