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Friday, March 21, 2008

Obama’s Bracket

posted by on March 21 at 12:32 PM

Obama officially became my candidate back in January when I saw this ABC News bit asking the (then much larger field of) presidential hopefuls about his/her “guilty pleasure.” The answers were pretty lame and predictable (Fred Thomspon—cigars; Hillary Clinton—chocolate; Joe Biden—ice cream), but then came this gem from Obama:

“Well, now that I have stopped sneaking the occasional cigarette, which made me feel tremendously guilty and my wife was constantly on me about it, I suppose it’s SportsCenter. I know I should go to sleep. But somehow I find myself being able to watch highlights over and over again.”

This is guy is so real, I remember thinking.

My respect and affection for the Senator from Illinois swelled even more when I read his first book, Dreams from My Father, which was originally published in 1995. If you thought his recent speech on race was nuanced and complex, it’s nothing compared to what he does in this book, a satisfying and dense unpacking of his own racial identity and views. (Also, the section on the years Obama spent working his ass off and questioning his ability to change things as a community organizer in Chicago is powerful.)

So, imagine my dismay when I discovered Obama’s NCAA bracket, in which he picks UNC to be the champion. UNC?! Sure, they’re a great team, but it’s a such a predictable choice. Further examination of the bracket reveals that Obama’s vision of this tournament cherished for its upsets, limitless possibilities, and, dare I say it, audacious hope, is safe and uninspiring. Out of the 32 games in the first round, he predicts only 5 upsets. (And Washington voters, it should be noted that two of these upsets are against Gonzaga and WASU, the only two Washington teams in the tournament.)

Am I left to believe his NCAA picks are just political pandering? Barack and I will just have to agree to disagree on the Final Four.

I turn my attention now to the Georgetown v. UMBC game. Hoyas all the way!

RSS icon Comments


I think most people realize that Obama's actions reflect what he does and who he is, whereas with Clinton it's all calculated.

And I say that after seeing her five times and meeting her twice.

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 21, 2008 12:36 PM

What the hell is "WASU"?

Things like THIS are the only way guys like my brother-in-law in Indiana would EVER vote for Obama. Sad, but true.

Posted by DOUG. | March 21, 2008 12:40 PM

Why would you have to agree to disagree? The actual games will settle your dispute.

Posted by Eric F | March 21, 2008 12:45 PM

The cynics will call it political pandering, but the skeptics would do well to call a UNC pick good judgment. Right?

For the record, Gonzaga lost to the mental giants of North Carolina's Davidson College!

What an unfortunate coincidence that the Tarheel State has an important primary upcoming.

Posted by BTB | March 21, 2008 12:50 PM

I've watched just about every single UNC game that was televised here in Washington and they are a damn good team.

They're the #1 seed for a reason.

Posted by ghostlawns | March 21, 2008 12:52 PM

Well he was right about Davidson beating Gonzaga, but screw him for picking WSU to lose.

Posted by elrider | March 21, 2008 12:52 PM

Well he was right about Gonzaga! He gets my vote! :)

Posted by Suz | March 21, 2008 12:59 PM

I don't get it. Why is saying your guilty pleasure is watching basketball more "real" than than saying your guilty pleasure is chocholate? I don't mean this as an attack on Obama; I really want to understand.

Now if he had said "watching porn" -- that would be "real"!

Posted by David Wright | March 21, 2008 1:01 PM

@8 -- I tend to agree with you. Chocolate is a cliched and stereotypical answer, but that doesn't make it any less "real". It's probably in my top three guilty pleasures, if I were to answer the question...

Posted by Julie | March 21, 2008 1:11 PM

Given ESPN has spent the last several months fellating the UNC basketball program, it's no surprise that Obama has bought the hype.

Posted by Gomez | March 21, 2008 1:15 PM

What IS it with this motherfucker? HOW DARE HE pick different fake students in the big sports tournament than me? God! I mean, really! UNC? Strip his delegates from him post haste.

Posted by Fnarf | March 21, 2008 1:29 PM

The object of my affection
Can turn my complexion
From white to rosy red

Posted by Vince | March 21, 2008 1:43 PM

I loathe the tar heels, not as much as Duke, but I loathe the heels.

Temple is out so Im down on the tourney. The Zags just got spanked. So is up to the Cougs to represent, but I can not get myself to say go Cougs. Im hating.

Belmont took it to the Blue Devils, one shot, just one shot!

Unfortunately, when all is said and done, it will be the damn Bruins winning one for the wizard.

Posted by SeMe | March 21, 2008 1:52 PM

I cannot help but notice that Obama has not selected any women's teams on his chart.

Sexist? You be the judge!

Posted by NapoleonXIV | March 21, 2008 1:58 PM

Tar Heels all the way!

Posted by Fitz | March 21, 2008 2:19 PM

SportsCenter?!? That's his super-duper honest answer? You rolled over for that?!?

"" Now THAT would have been an answer.

Posted by Big Sven | March 21, 2008 2:19 PM

Will in Seattle @1:

And I say that after seeing her five times and meeting her twice.

Ohmygod! I had no idea you were such an important person and stuff! Are you, like, in a super secret society where you protect the rest of us from unseen dangers that we don't even realize are lurking around us?!? Kind of like a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, only for older superheros who kind of sit around and bitch about things instead of actually killing zombies?!?

I'll be sooooo much nicer to you in the future!

Posted by Big Sven | March 21, 2008 2:32 PM

Next time I won't be so nice, @17.

You fail to realize not everyone is like you, or has similar experiences as you do.

Look, I never said she isn't competent, or wouldn't be a far far better President than McCain (who I've never met) ever would be.

But ... that's how she is, in my personal experience. Heck, for all I know, you guys hang out at the Fish Market together ... I just have a knack for being in the right places at the right time, and it's kind of strange, but that's my opinion.

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 21, 2008 3:36 PM

Don't be so harsh. John McCain once picked the four number one seeds as the final four.

Posted by Gitai | March 21, 2008 3:59 PM

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