Jonathan Chait

The Obama Basketball Cover-Up

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I honestly can't tell if this, from the Weekly Standard, is a parody:

I can't resist asking a few questions about the president's "shooting competition" versus Clark Kellogg:

1. Why wear shorts on Air Force One in Europe -- and regularly not wear ties at events of a somewhat formal nature -- and then wear a tie to play hoops?

2. Has President Obama ever played basketball on a team in a meaningful way? Sports Illustrated describes his having been on the "jayvee as a sophomore" at his high school in Hawaii, having made "second varsity" as a junior -- SI explains that the "school fielded multiple teams in some sports" -- and having finally made the varsity during a season spent "largely on the bench" as one of the "pine-riders." (And this is Hawaii -- hardly a rival of Indiana or North Carolina when it comes to hoops hotbeds.)

3. As a lefty, why release your jump-shot from the right side of your head? 

4. Can the president dribble with his right hand at all (and I'm not speaking figuratively)? 

5. Why was it that Clark Kellogg, whose shots were repeatedly flicking the bottom of the net as he built up a P-O-T-U (H-O-R-S) lead -- much of it off-camera -- barely able to draw iron after that?  (This is not a tough question.)  Relatedly, has President Obama recently played in a basketball game, or even a shoot-around, in which someone actually tried to beat him? I would love to see such a game take place.

Has Obama abused the public's trust? Is Clark Kellogg in on it? Sadly, the Democratic-controlled Congress is unlikely to hold hearings on this vital issue.

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