Obama is competitive. It's a requirement, one would hope, to run for President. But the New York Times' Jodi Kantor writes that Obama might over competitive. Deep in the story is a juicy anecdote of Obama comparing himself to Lebron and co. in Miami, and Romney to Jeremy Lin.
First: Obama's competitiveness. It's extensive. Like, he's even competitive when it comes to recreational bowling. In February, when someone asked if he had what it took to win again in November, he opted for a basketball analogy to get his point across:
This February, in an otherwise placid meeting with Democratic governors — routine policy questions, routine presidential replies — Gov. Brian Schweitzer of Montana asked Mr. Obama if he had what it took to win the 2012 race.
For a moment Mr. Obama looked annoyed, a White House aide said, as if he thought Mr. Schweitzer was underestimating him. Then he came alive. “Holy mackerel, he lit up,” Mr. Schweitzer said in an interview. “It was like a light switch coming on.”
No matter what moves Mr. Romney made, the president said, he and his team were going to cut him off and block him at every turn. “We’re the Miami Heat, and he’s Jeremy Lin,” Mr. Obama said, according to the aide.
This seems a little odd, considering in March the President was all about Linsanity. But it's true: Jeremy Lin played horribly against the Miami Heat last year. This, from a game report in February: "Lin had averaged just under 24 points and a little more than nine assists per game during that magical 11-game span, but finished this one with just eight points, six rebounds, and three assists, to go along with eight turnovers." Maybe Obama's quote happened a few nights after this game. And it's worth noting that the Miami Heat went on to win the NBA championship. But it's Jeremy Lin's story that muddles his point. Cheering for the Heat is like cheering for the Yankees, or for the empire in Star Wars. But, if you must go with a Heat analogy, ProBasketball Talk's Kurt Helin has a better option for you, Mr. President:
I think the analogy you want is “We’re the Miami Heat, he’s the Brooklyn Nets.” That’s a team put together by a billionaire with most of his money locked up overseas, a team that has some talent but is unproven, a team that was put together on an old-rules model not really thinking through the long-term consequences... I think that is more what you were going for.
Obama is no stranger to basketball analogies. At a fundraising event last week, he compared the Presidential race to a basketball game. "I can't resist a basketball analogy. We are in the fourth quarter, we're up by a few points, but the other side is coming strong and they play a little dirty," he said. If anything it's surprising Obama didn't go for a Michael Jordan analogy when talking to Schweitzer, considering he's a Bulls fan. "We're the Jordan-era Bulls, and he's John Starks," he could have said. He also talked about Jordan's "legendary" competitiveness. We were waiting for Kantor to make the competitive connection between Jordan and Obama. Was it too easy?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.