First he sent the Oval Office bust of Winston Churchill packing, having it carted back up Massachusetts Avenue to the British Embassy. Then he gave the queen and iPod as a gift. One would think President Obama was finished dealing indignities to our closest ally!
But no. This afternoon, Obama will chaperone British Prime Minister David Cameron to the Midwest to witness a lousy college basketball game between a middling team and a hapless one.
The two leaders will view an NCAA Tournament opener in Dayton, Ohio between Mississippi Valley State, with its lackluster 21-12 record, and Western Kentucky, which actually has a losing record of 15-18.
Western Kentucky can’t even attract its own students to its games, let alone the president. According to the Associated Press, only 2,000 home fans showed up for a dollar-ticket promotion.
Obama, it seems, is counting on two things. First of all, it appears Cameron doesn’t know anything about basketball. He may just think he’s watching quality hoops. Hopefully, his advisers won’t tell him he’s viewing a dud.
Second, the game is being played in Ohio, which along with Florida is the most important presidential battleground in the country. Obama is clearly hoping Cameron doesn’t recognize that he’s being shown a third-rate sporting event so that he can participate in Obama’s reelection campaign.
Asked Monday by Jared Rizzi of Sirius XM whether the Mississippi Valley – Western Kentucky matchup was the best use of President Obama’s sports fan time, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was tactful.
“March Madness is a wonderful tradition in American sports and American culture, and the president very much looks forward to having the prime minister join him for this game,” he said.