In this time of rancorous political partisanship, people of all creeds and beliefs are encouraged to put their differences aside and find common ground in pulling for the Steelers. Okay, well, the VP candidates at least, because they both root for the Black & Gold.

One change in Biden since his ascent is his willingness to talk about the deaths of his first wife, Neilia, and their baby daughter, Naomi, in a traffic accident weeks after he won his first Senate race in 1972. Earlier this year, when Iowa voters would ask him about the accident, Biden would say that to talk about it was to relive it.

Now he accepts it as part of his appeal. On Friday night, when Obama and Biden met Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin in Pittsburgh, Biden recounted how “Old Mr. Rooney” — Steelers owner Dan Rooney — dispatched some players from his championship team to the hospital room in Wilmington where Biden’s two toddler sons, Beau and Hunter, were recovering from the accident. They brought the boys an autographed football as a Christmas present.

“And I have been a Steelers fan since that day,” Biden told Tomlin.

Odd, of course, that the accident happened in 1972 and Art Rooney soon thereafter dispatched his “championship team” despite the fact that the Steelers didn’t win their first Super Bowl until 1975. The Rooneys are only cheap because they splurge on time machines, apparently.

Sarah Palin can teach Republicans how to be Republicans. It’s a simple lesson. But it won’t be easy for anyone who thinks being pragmatic and principled are mutually exclusive. Mrs. Palin, 43, is the governor of Alaska and the brightest light in the land of the midnight sun.

She relishes moose burgers because “they taste better than beef with no chemicals, steroids or hormones.” She adopted the Pittsburgh Steelers because of the team’s success in the 1970s and because there are no major professional teams in her state.

Perhaps their shared fandom can help them skirt a few sticking points in their ideology (or help them commiserate over the fact that the vice presidency isn’t worth the proverbial warm bucket of spit). Sure, one’s in favor of gun control while the other is a member of the NRA. One likes stars while the other likes starfish. Luckily, they are of a piece when it comes to espousing alternate weapons.