Video: Obama focuses on college basketball

March 16, 2011|By Luke Broadwater

Sun columnist Mike Preston weighed-in on the NFL lockout yesterday. He wrote about the skyrocketing costs of gasoline, the tsunami in Japan and the rising national debt. His point was simple: There are things in life more important that millionaire athletes bickering with billionaire owners. There are things in life more important than sports. 

President Obama, it seems, has a different take. Instead of spending every waking hour concerning himself with America's stagnant economy or whether the U.S. should take action against Libya, Obama has been spending his time researching college basketball to make his March Madness picks for a segment on ESPN. (It airs on Wednesday, and, yes, I'll be watching.)

This attention to college basketball has come under scrutiny from conservatives, including RNC chairman Reince Prebus who tweeted, "How can @barackobama say he's leading when he puts his NCAA bracket over the budget and other pressing issues?" (Don't you love how all the best smack talk these days happens over Twitter?) 

Obama's basketball picks have become a "pretty big deal," according to the Bleacher Report, because the president correctly picked the championship team (North Carolina) two years ago. So, fans are eagerly waiting to see who the president will pick. Update: For the second year in a row, Obama has picked the Kansas Jayhawks to emerge as national champions.

Now, I'm not one to say the president can't have hobbies. I actually like it that Obama is such a sports junkie. It shows he's not just a policy wonk, but a regular guy. 

And I don't think the president should have to spend every moment of his life on the clock -- he should be allowed to have fun like the rest of us -- but I can understand how people who are out of work might feel some resentment today when they watch the president predicting basketball games instead of working on economic policy, even if it's only for a few hours. 

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