First Fan Obama offers March Madness bracket challenge to benefit his campaign

posted at 2:30 pm on March 12, 2012 by Tina Korbe

As much as it pains me to say it, the president’s got game — or at least his campaign staffers do. They’re pretty skilled at tapping into the nation’s interests at any given time. Syria is in crisis, Iran is on the brink of you know what, unemployment is at 8.3 percent, the liberty-limiting implementation of Obamacare continues unabated — and, yet, the nation’s mind is on March Madness. Want proof? “NCAA bracket” and “NCAA tournament” are the No. 1 and 2 searches in the USA on Google right now. “Syria,” “Iran,” “unemployment” and “Obamacare” aren’t even in the top 20. (And really, who could blame us? Sports are clean and neat; they produce clear winners and losers. They’re refreshing for that reason.)

So what does the Obama campaign do? Check it out:

With the “Obama Bracket Challenge” on the campaign’s website, supporters can electronically make their picks for the 2012 NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments and see how they measure up against Obama.

The president has filled out a March Madness tournament bracket each of the past three years during an interview with ESPN’s Andy Katz.  He’s expected to do so again this year, and his campaign will post his selections online.

To participate, users must provide their full name, email address and ZIP code.  They’re also prompted to make a donation to the campaign after submitting their picks.

The campaign also promises to list the names of all the people who do better than the president on its website. This works for a few reasons:

  1. The president is known to be an ardent basketball fan. He’s taking British prime minister David Cameron to a first-round game in Dayton, Ohio, tomorrow. He was one of the first prominent figures to catch Linsanity. He once busted his lip in a pickup game. So, this feels organic.
  2. At the same time, it’s still a campaign gimmick and the campaign is open about that. The prompt to donate makes it clear that the president wants to connect with voters on basketball so they’ll connect with him on Election Day.
  3. March Madness is highly mainstream and very nonpartisan. This gives him a chance to reach relatively apolitical people who’ll think it’s cool to compete with the president.

As Derek Hunter laments in a recent Townhall.com column, the conservative movement could do more of this type of thing. We tend to operate in echo chambers. A mainstream presence — even if we have to purchase it in the form of advertising time during primetime entertainment television — would do wonders to advance our message.


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Ooohh, I got it! Space Balls…the Bracket!

Zaggs on March 12, 2012 at 2:31 PM

As usual, more about Dumbo screwing around…less about actually, ya know, leading the country. Can’t wait for ESPN to do another ridiculous bracket special with Dumbo.

search4truth on March 12, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Practically everyone will do better than the President, since he is known to either cowardly pick all #1 seeds, or to pick schools in states he needs to win.

IE: he will almost certainly NOT pick my Kentucky Wildcats to win, as my state is not only unwinnable for him, we’ll be the first state called against him on Election Day.

Obama with his anti energy and anti coal policies has basically turned my state into a no jobs zone. Despite the fact that we have about the most Obama friendly libtard governor in the country.

wildcat72 on March 12, 2012 at 2:35 PM

This, once again, will endear him to the cattle.

To a cow, it makes him one of them, if but for a moment. Then, it’s back to his being a farmer, and them needing him to toss them some more hay.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 12, 2012 at 2:36 PM

And they called Bush a doofus?

NotCoach on March 12, 2012 at 2:37 PM

He will lose to the silly blonde who picks all her teams based on the color of their uniforms. Go silly blonde!

January on March 12, 2012 at 2:38 PM

we’ll be the first state called against him on Election Day.

wildcat72 on March 12, 2012 at 2:35 PM

No, that will be New Hampshire.

Lanceman on March 12, 2012 at 2:38 PM

The cattle can’t wait for Obamuh to go back onto the Ellen Degeneres show, so they can watch him “dance.”

“He’s one of us!” – moo they.

Then, it’s back to the fields, waiting for the farmer to bring them some more hay.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 12, 2012 at 2:39 PM

As Derek Hunter laments in a recent Townhall.com column, the conservative movement could do more of this type of thing.

Uh… we could afford to spend more time talking about inane, ultimately not important things?

Every day that passes, I find the movie “Idiocracy” more and more to be a documentary rather than a comedy.

Red Cloud on March 12, 2012 at 2:39 PM

This schtick is getting old. It may have been effective when he was new and exciting, but I don’t think people are all that charmed by Obama filling out brackets after they pay $70.00 to fill up their car on the way home from their part-time job.

forest on March 12, 2012 at 2:40 PM

If one goes exactly opposite to the smartest man in the history of the universe, one will do quite well.

jukin3 on March 12, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Red Cloud on March 12, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Bingo.

We all need to be cattle, enamored with trivialities, while waiting to be fed.

What they’re really saying is … “occupy their minds with shiny things and, while they’re occupied, keep on destroying the country.”

OhEssYouCowboys on March 12, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Er, slow news day?

And I don’t think one of the problems with the conservative movement is that pols aren’t out publicizing their March Madness picks.

changer1701 on March 12, 2012 at 2:43 PM

I personally hate basketball. You’ll never guess how I feel about the president.

Squiggy on March 12, 2012 at 2:44 PM

This is honestly a non-issue. It takes like 3 minutes to fill out the bracket.

And lets be honest, in a year, Mitt Romney will also fill out a bracket. Every president does it.

milcus on March 12, 2012 at 2:45 PM

would do wonders to advance our message.

and then, like Obama supporters do we get to riot when the badest sneaker hits Walmart?

dmann on March 12, 2012 at 2:46 PM

“I like to eat grits while picking collegiate basketball teams to win the tournaments with my NASCAR team owner friends.” – Willard McRomney

NotCoach on March 12, 2012 at 2:46 PM

I’m anxiously awaiting a repeat of his girly-throw first pitch of the baseball season in his mom jeans.

That was a beta-male classic.

fogw on March 12, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Another fine example of Odumbo focusing like a laser on……….total Bu!!sh!t.

waterytart on March 12, 2012 at 2:47 PM

I wouldn’t play March Madness or Fantasy Football with Mitt. It’s stuff like that will lose us an election. Right now more people can see themselves having a beer with obama than mittens, same way more did with bush than JF-kkkerry.

abobo on March 12, 2012 at 2:48 PM

All campaign. All the time.

No governing. Ever.

faraway on March 12, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Right now more people can see themselves having a beer with obama than mittens, same way more did with bush than JF-kkkerry.

abobo on March 12, 2012 at 2:48 PM

“I stormed the beaches of Normandy while serving in Vietnam. Where were you Mr. President?” – John “Dude, wheres my yacht” Kerry

NotCoach on March 12, 2012 at 2:50 PM

He should do this full time next year.

Oil Can on March 12, 2012 at 2:52 PM

What aggravates me the most is this myth that Obama is supposedly good at everything. The media claims he’s a good basketball player. I’ve played basketball almost my whole life and let me tell you something…from the clips I’ve seen, he’s not very good.

GOPRanknFile on March 12, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Total waste of time!

derecho on March 12, 2012 at 2:52 PM

If the Repubs were better at hilighting the issues with this President, with hilighting the problems with the Country, with taking the fight to their opponents rather than just reacting or answering questions posed to them… then there might be less of a dull news cycle which allows for such dribble to be played.

Seriously, you’re letting the Dems control the news and the narrative – what do you expect that it’s beer and basketball during a crisis???

Ukiah on March 12, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Obama’s pretty good at bowling. I think it was a 38.

faraway on March 12, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Pivoting and focusing on the economey again!
Poor guy hasn’t rested or slept for years now worrying about my neighbors and friends…might it be time for a vacation or something?

KOOLAID2 on March 12, 2012 at 2:55 PM

And who can forget Obama’s glorious first pitch

faraway on March 12, 2012 at 2:55 PM

that pic with barry and the basketball ALMOST makes him pass for being heterosexual. almost.

GhoulAid on March 12, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Obama’s pretty good at bowling. I think it was a 38.

faraway on March 12, 2012 at 2:54 PM

“I bowl like I govern: Retardedly.” – Barrack Husein Obama to Jay Leno

NotCoach on March 12, 2012 at 2:57 PM

I’m not surprised he has time to keep up with college basketball. It’s not like he’s studying economics with his free time.

John Deaux on March 12, 2012 at 2:58 PM

I want the bracket with the rich folks

J_Crater on March 12, 2012 at 2:58 PM

“We tend to operate in echo chambers.”

Like this place was until a few months ago. Ye Olde Tyme Commenters still can’t stop belly-aching and crying about it.

Random on March 12, 2012 at 2:58 PM

I haven’t had time to fill out my bracket.

I’m not the leader of the free world and there are not kids in Afghanistan that rely on my work being done well.

I just want the government to not force my church to pay for birth control. But – I guess my priorities are out of whack.

CycloneCDB on March 12, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Tina,
If it pains you so much, don’t mention it. The rest of us could give a you know what about the “one’s” picks!

Your drivel is showing!

tomshup on March 12, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Santorum picked Kansas to win it all. Says it’s God’s will.

Rusty Allen on March 12, 2012 at 3:04 PM

He better pick Harvard to take it all, since he went there.

He went there, right? I know there’s no evidence of his attendance, GPA or graduation, but he did go there, right?

On second thought maybe he shouldn’t draw attention to Harvard.

fogw on March 12, 2012 at 3:04 PM

The president is known to be an ardent basketball fan. He’s taking British prime minister David Cameron to a first-round game in Dayton, Ohio, tomorrow. He was one of the first prominent figures to catch Linsanity. He once busted his lip in a pickup game. So, this feels organic

I live in Dayton. Glad I’ll be out of town tomorrow.

Bitter Clinger on March 12, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Satan always wins

faraway on March 12, 2012 at 3:10 PM

The campaign also promises to list the names of all the people who do better than the president on its website.

If I do better than him, rather than get my name on the website, how about he just leaves the White House immediately.

Bitter Clinger on March 12, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Santorum picked Kansas to win it all. Says it’s God’s will.

Rusty Allen on March 12, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Anti-Christian bigotry is hilarious.

CycloneCDB on March 12, 2012 at 3:12 PM

obama is disgusting.

Pork-Chop on March 12, 2012 at 3:13 PM

the conservative movement could do more of this type of thing.

huh? I prefer a leader.

tommer74 on March 12, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Economy…?

… Never heard of it.

Seven Percent Solution on March 12, 2012 at 3:14 PM

What aggravates me the most is this myth that Obama is supposedly good at everything. The media claims he’s a good basketball player. I’ve played basketball almost my whole life and let me tell you something…from the clips I’ve seen, he’s not very good.

I finally figured it out. Our President is that kid from the Twilight Zone who sent people to the corn field if you didn’t think good thoughts about him.

crazy_legs on March 12, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Why did Obama only pick men’s teams? War on Women?

faraway on March 12, 2012 at 3:21 PM

All I can do is feel really bad for the coaches of the teams Obama is picking as winners – Obama is the ultimate poison pill.

2nd Ammendment Mother on March 12, 2012 at 3:22 PM

What about transgender teams?

faraway on March 12, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Hard at work again. . . doing nothing.

totherightofthem on March 12, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Does he ever work for Americans at his job or just make speeches, golf, campaign, and party? One term and out the door.

Amazingoly on March 12, 2012 at 3:26 PM

All I can do is feel really bad for the coaches of the teams Obama is picking as winners – Obama is the ultimate poison pill.

2nd Ammendment Mother on March 12, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Yes – he does have his own Sports Illustrated curse going. Please don’t pick the Buckeye’s!

January on March 12, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Someone should do a story on how much more expensive it is for Universities (and fans) to participate in March Madness this year thanks to the higher costs of travel, food, lodging, etc.

My son is traveling around the country with the University Jazz Band this week. Students are responsible for 60% of the trip cost, the recruiting office picks up 40%. The kids part of the trip was $250 last August – they had to turn in an additional $100 each to cover the fuel costs and the venues they perform in have been persuaded to pick up the tabs for a few meals.

2nd Ammendment Mother on March 12, 2012 at 3:28 PM

Yes – he does have his own Sports Illustrated curse going. Please don’t pick the Buckeye’s!

January on March 12, 2012 at 3:26 PM

You know he’ll have to pick a swing state team….. Look out UNC, Ohio State, and Missouri!!

Bitter Clinger on March 12, 2012 at 3:30 PM

You know he’ll have to pick a swing state team….. Look out UNC, Ohio State, and Missouri!!

Bitter Clinger on March 12, 2012 at 3:30 PM

It’ll be North Carolina.

He always picks chalk – so he’ll have UNC, Kansas, Mich St, and Kentucky in the Final 4. Kansas and Kentucky will go GOP, Michigan will go blue, North Carolina might be the closest thing there is to being in play.

Sucks too – I want to see the Tar Heels win – but this jackal screws it up for all of us.

CycloneCDB on March 12, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Practically everyone will do better than the President, since he is known to either cowardly pick all #1 seeds, or to pick schools in states he needs to win.

IE: he will almost certainly NOT pick my Kentucky Wildcats to win, as my state is not only unwinnable for him, we’ll be the first state called against him on Election Day.

Obama with his anti energy and anti coal policies has basically turned my state into a no jobs zone. Despite the fact that we have about the most Obama friendly libtard governor in the country.

wildcat72 on March 12, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Notice he hasn’t visited or even flown over any of the areas in KY hit by the tornadoes either.

If he picks Kentucky, it will be because Anthony Davis is from Chicago.

rockmom on March 12, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Uh… we could afford to spend more time talking about inane, ultimately not important things?

Every day that passes, I find the movie “Idiocracy” more and more to be a documentary rather than a comedy.

Red Cloud on March 12, 2012 at 2:39 PM

The other day I passed a car with a “Camacho for President” bumper sticker on it. LOL

rockmom on March 12, 2012 at 3:44 PM

IE: he will almost certainly NOT pick my Kentucky Wildcats to win, as my state is not only unwinnable for him, we’ll be the first state called against him on Election Day.

wildcat72 on March 12, 2012 at 2:35 PM

You better hope he doesn’t pick Kentucky. He has the reverse Midas Touch.

conservative pilgrim on March 12, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Someone correct me if I’m incorrect, but isn’t setting up a bracket in this manner illegal online gambling, at least in several states? I remember working for a company that said we couldn’t, even though no money was involved, because it violated the law. This was a big company with lots of lawyers.

William Teach on March 12, 2012 at 3:55 PM

I hope now CBS rejects any request Obama makes to appear prior to March Madness games because it would be an obvious tie to his campaign.

MayBee on March 12, 2012 at 4:08 PM

And you know what? No. Let’s not have the RNC do more stuff like this.

Enough of the Lifestyle Guru Presidencies.

MayBee on March 12, 2012 at 4:10 PM

I hope now CBS rejects any request Obama makes to appear prior to March Madness games because it would be an obvious tie to his campaign.

MayBee on March 12, 2012 at 4:08 PM

Too late. Clark Kellogg will be interviewing him Tuesday at halftime in one of the Dayton games.

January on March 12, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Oh man, January. I remember the CBS coverage at the carrier game. They could not keep the cameras off Obama. I do not look forward to a replay of that.

MayBee on March 12, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Someone correct me if I’m incorrect, but isn’t setting up a bracket in this manner illegal online gambling, at least in several states? I remember working for a company that said we couldn’t, even though no money was involved, because it violated the law. This was a big company with lots of lawyers.

William Teach on March 12, 2012 at 3:55 PM

You’re incorrect. If there’s is money involved it might techinically be illegal, but if no money is exchanging hands how could filling out a piece of paper be considered illegal, even in Obama’s America? You’re company probably just told you that because they didn’t want their employees wasting time.

JaHerer22 on March 12, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Sports are clean and neat; they produce clear winners and losers.

they are opiates for the masses. No wonder that is why the Admin is involved.

ted c on March 12, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Who cares what Obummer thinks?

sherrimae on March 12, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Let’s get to the important issues. Such as, will the dope be able to spell “Syracuse” correctly this time without a teleprompter?

MrKleenexMuscles on March 12, 2012 at 6:47 PM

I have a novel idea. How about this man spending a little bit of his time doing his job?

AttaBoyLuther on March 12, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Maybe this year it’ll be three strikes yer out for Obaracket. He’s on a 2-yr losing streak in the NCAA tournament, picking Kansas the last two years and jinxing them into losing both times. No team wants his kiss of death this year.

stukinIL4now on March 12, 2012 at 10:17 PM