Politics is an important topic of conversation here in Louisville, but it pales in significance to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Discussions at the office water cooler, arguments down at the neighborhood bar, and Facebook postings that once revolved around the economy, healthcare, and our country’s numerous wars (including the “war on women”), have receded into the background. Now, all anyone wants to talk about is their tournament brackets.
Folks around here have put down enough hard-earned cash to back their favorite college teams so as to rival the national debt. And the high muckety-mucks in Washington, D.C., are no different. Our president and Kentucky’s senior senator are locked in a fierce battle that has nothing to do with bailouts or raising the debt ceiling. They are in a bracket war.
President Barack Obama revealed his bracket predictions for the 2012 NCAA Tournament on ESPN last week. Having already unveiled his Final Four picks, Obama put some extra pressure on No. 1 seed North Carolina by picking the Tar Heels to win the national championship. "I'm just a sucker for the Tar Heels," he said. (Readers will remember that the president also picked the Tar Heels to win it all in 2009; and they did!)
President Obama picked two No. 2 seeds, Ohio State and Missouri, to make it to New Orleans. He picked UNC to defeat the overall No. 1 seed Kentucky in the national title game. Click HERE to see Obama's entire bracket.
Kentucky’s senior senator, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, on the other hand—and true to his hometown—picked U of L to join with Kentucky, Cincinnati, and UNC, in the Final Four games. In what must have been a tough call for Mitch, he has Kentucky beating Louisville in New Orleans, and then winning over UNC in the final game. Click HERE to see McConnell's entire bracket.
The two political titans are virtually neck-and-neck in their prognostications, with the president having 35 correct picks by this morning’s press time; as against the senator’s 32 correct choices.
Mitch’s big mistake was hoping that Western Kentucky would make it to the Western Division finals. He also had Cincinnati winning the Eastern Division. The President, on the other hand, misplaced his hopes on Duke and Michigan.
We’ll be sure to keep you posted on the results of this battle.
Louisville.com's The Arena section features opinions from active participants in the city's politics. Their viewpoints are not those of Louisville.com (a website is an inanimate object and, as such, has no opinions). The Arena is read by more people in Louisville than in any other city in America. In case you’re interested, the author only has 28 correct picks thus far. Good thing he has refrained from running for elective office.