Interpreting the Presidential Barack-et

The Hoopster-in-Chief's tourney picks

031809 Obama bracket

President Obama pledges his allegiance to his preferred sport: He posted on ESPN his NCAA Tournament picks. A quick glimpse suggests a few things:

1) Boy, is this really political! Of course, "Barry O'Bomber" (as the smooth outside shooter was known on his high school team), picks the North Carolina Tar Heels to win it all -- conveniently going with a team from a now-swing state that he won in November (and is counting on again 2012). Beyond that, this is such a conservatively picked entry that it's impossible for him to be embarrassed! He'll either be with the pack at the end by going with favorites -- or he'll be with the pack if there are a bunch of upsets. There's little chance for him to be stuck at the bottom at the end of the tournament -- as he might be if decided to pick aggressively and adopt a "George Mason" to go on a magical run to the Final Four. We can't have such bold action from our commander-in-chief, now can we.  Talk about, ahem, wimpy conservative.

2) If the POTUS also does an NCAA pool at the White House, doesn't that mean all these "for-fun" <wink! wink!> office pools are -- despite various state laws -- actually legal? After all, as Richard Nixon famously said (and of which the world has been reminded in "Frost/Nixon"), "When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal."

3) Now that he's visited an NBA game AND joined in March Madness, isn't about time the media starts boosting Obama for NBA commissioner when his presidency is over? During the Bush years, just about every Super Bowl, Condoleezza Rice (big football fan) was asked about her pick -- and "joked" about wanting to become NFL commissioner. But was it all just a joke? After all, Rice's preferred escort at state dinners was Players' Association exec. Gene Washington. 

For that matter, there was some talk that Dubya might return to his first love: Could the one-time Texas Rangers owner fill Bud Selig's shoes as MLB commissioner?   Pretty unlikely, but, hey, reporters have to find leads for stories over the next few years, right? 

 In that case, might as well start the campaign of Obama for NBA commish! 

Robert A. George is a New York writer. He blogs at Ragged Thots

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