The Medal Thing

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Ever since wrestler Matt Ghaffari won his Olympic medal, he's been draping it around other people's necks in emotional tribute. In Atlanta, he bounded from the medal platform and put it around his father's neck. Wednesday night in San Diego, during an address to the GOP convention that was twice as long as Ralph Reed's (six minutes for victory, four for the hall monitor), Ghaffari hung his medal around the neck of a handicapped man. What TV viewers may not realize is that Ghaffari always gets it back. Three hours later, taking the mike at the lavish Republican Gala, a $10 million dinner for 3,500 on the hillside behind the Convention Center, Ghaffari effusively hung his medal (for at least the the second time) around the number one neck in town: Bob Dole. Somebody better tell Bob Dole to run whenever he sees Ghaffari, because as Dole beamed and the crowd cheered, the disastrous symbolism of the moment seemed lost on the Republicans. Ghaffari didn't take the gold. He came in second. - Janice Castro