What was President Obama thinking when he predicted that Kansas would win the national championship?
First of all, he should have known better than to pick a program that has lost in recent tournaments to the likes of Bradley, Bucknell and Northern Iowa (not a misprint), and now to VCU. Maybe he didn't know what VCU stood for. But even so, he should have his finger on the pulse of the nation. Mr. President: Never, never, never pick Kansas!.
More crucially, why did President Obama pick Kansas in the first place? He should have gone for a school in a state he needs to win in 2012 — or has a prayer of taking home. He'll never win in Kansas. He should have taken, oh, Northern Iowa or Bucknell, located in states he needs to capture.
Mr. President remember the Rule of A-B-C: always be closing, sir. Think politics in 2012! Even if you thought all along that the Jayhawks had what it took, so what? What's that going to get you, anyway?
You have to think of the bottom line — your re-election campaign. I hope your campaign-trail speeches are better thought out than this waste of a March Madness pick.
The president has to show sharp-elbow instincts in the next year's campaign. The Republicans are sure to throw everything they've got against him. They'll try to make him look underprepared, overconfident, out of touch, in fat cats' back pockets and unsympathetic to the plight of the ever-shrinking middle class.
Sure, Barack Obama can stand the heat but he had better get used to it. To combat all of his foes, he has to employ all of his weapons. That's why he had better not pick Kansas in 2012 to win it all in March Madness.
Always be closing!
Jon Friedman writes the Media Web column for MarketWatch.com. Click here to read his latest column.
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