The article points out that since Al Gore and Joe Lieberman ran together in the 2000 presidential election, Gore has gone to the left, and Lieberman to the right; would that have happened had they been elected in 2000?
The article ends:
Ron Klain, who was Mr. Gore’s vice presidential chief of staff, said the Gore-Lieberman schism reminded him of Algebra I.
"It’s like one of those old math problems,” he said. “Two trains leave Chicago at the same time traveling in opposite directions. How far apart are they in three hours? Very far apart."
I don't remember having to do problems like that. This may be why I still like mathematics. (And why is it always "trains" in these problems? I suspect they may actually have been more common in a time when trains were common; if the probems were written now they would be about cars or airplanes.)
The article's not bad re: politics; this is just yet another mathification, i. e. gratuitous insertion of math where it doesn't really make sense.