I don’t know whether to goof on them or sympathize with them. For our three readers who don’t know who LeBron James is, he’s a hoops super ultra mega-star who plays for Cleveland — and he just became a free agent. The speculation is that he’ll sign with New York or Chicago or … anyplace more media-friendly than Cleveland, really, which means pretty much anyplace. So here’s the Ohio celebrity grovel begging him to re-sign with the team and avert the mass suicides that will surely follow among Cavs diehards if he bolts. Among the grovelers: Ted Strickland and Sherrod Brown, who doubtless faced a nasty dilemma when they were asked to do this. On the one hand, it’s really stupid and embarrassing, and shows a nuanced set of priorities in a state where unemployment’s now a cool 11.5 percent. On the other hand, refusing to participate could alienate local b-ball fans and Strickland’s up for reelection this year. So they did the self-interested thing, joining a painful “We Are the World” take-off aimed at kissing the ass of a guy who’s worth more than all of them and their families put together.
Interestingly, Axelrod was asked about the prospect of LeBron signing with Chicago today and said, “[A]s a Chicago fan, the president thinks LeBron would look great in a Bulls uniform.” Hey, Ax? Illinois won’t be a swing state in 2012 — but Ohio surely will. And if James goes to Chicago and shatters Cavs fans’ championship dreams, rest assured that some Ohioans won’t forget this. Which would also be stupid, but that’s politics.
Update: Justin Higgins says LeBron is worth millions to the Ohio economy, so lay off Strickland on this one.