Joe Paterno stayed true to his political party, as he passed on the chance to pal around with Bill Clinton.
The ASSOCIATED PRESS reports that the Penn State coach and noted Republican decided not to meet with Clinton last Thursday, as the former President made a stop in State College in support of his wife Hillary’s presidential campaign.
JoePa said he thought “long and hard” about maybe buddying up with Bill, perhaps out of respect for a former leader of the free world. Clinton even brought up the fact that Hillary’s father and brother played football for the Nittany Lions.
But in the end, the 81-year-old coach chose to keep clear:
“I didn’t want to get into that because of my situation, because I couldn’t vote for either one of them because I’m a Republican.”
Paterno’s political commitment also runs in the family, although in a different direction. His son Jay is a staunch supporter of Barack Obama, even showing up at the opening of the Illinois senator’s campaign office in State College. But such support seems to be okay with JoePa:
“The only thing I have for Jay is admiration for him because he’s willing to do what he thinks is right. He’s sticking his neck out for Obama.”
Much like Joe’s neck sticking out on the chopping block if he staggers through another Alamo Bowl-bound season.
But it’s a shame Paterno would let rigid party loyalty keep him from chillin’ with Clinton. They could’ve had a nice time trading tales over a couple of scoops of Peachy Paterno at the college creamery.
We just hope Bill’s motorcade stayed out of Joe’s way.