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Obama's Hoosier Hoop Dreams: The Lessons of P-I-G

Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., shoots the ball while playing basketball with Aaron Villicana, bottom left, after talking to the family members of Villicana in Union Mills, Ind., May 1, 2008. (Associated Press)

By Peter Slevin
UNION MILLS, Ind. - Farm talk gave way to hoop dreams on a driveway in rural Indiana as Sen. Barack Obama dueled a 14-year-old in a game of P-I-G last night.

Obama, who reputation as a hoops lover preceded him, was rising from his seat at a backyard picnic table when an adult pointed to a boy holding a basketball. He had been practicing all afternoon, the man said, asking if the senator might shoot a couple of baskets with him.

Instead, Obama proposed a game of P-I-G.

After more downtown bombs than anyone counted, Obama, wearing a shirt and tie, had P and young Aaron Villicana had P-I.

Twice, when the eighth-grader hit a long-range shot Obama hit a clutch shot to match him, prompting a neighbor to call out that the Illinois senator did better when the pressure was on,

"Sometimes when the pressure's not on," Obama called back, "I lose my concentration."

Obama, 46, was ahead, but he was having trouble putting Villicana away.

"You know, he's tough. He keeps on coming back," Obama laughed. "He's like Hillary Clinton."

With his next chance, Obama took the ball near the imaginary top of the key and fired a jump shot into the net.

Villicana had one more chance. The ball banged off the rim. Game over.

Pressure encountered. Pretender vanquished. Message sent.

Of course, it was really just 10 minutes of driveway hoops with a local kid.

"Just know that by the time you're a senior," Obama told him as he paused to sign his ball -- "To Aaron. Great game. Barack Obama" -- "you'll be able to run circles around me."

By Web Politics Editor  |  May 2, 2008; 10:52 AM ET
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Next: Under Fire, Obama Returns to Basics


I really enjoyed this story -- a nice portrait.

Posted by: Allison | May 2, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

"Pressure encountered. Pretender vanquished. Message sent." And gracious invitation to the competitor's inclusion extended.

Posted by: FirstMouse | May 2, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

so "Pennsylvanian" above suggests that Obama was pandering b/c he was asked to shoot hoops with a kid? This after Hillary was doing a shot of Crown Royal (of all things to shoot). Someone has a real double standard...

Posted by: tim | May 2, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Paranoia is an Acquired Trait!

"The best way to Avoid a "Trap", is knowing of its Existence!"

Posted by: RAT-The | May 2, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Just Can't Wait Until The Election?

2008 Presidential Election Weekly Poll

Come Enter To Win In The Votenic T-Shirt Sweepstakes!

Votenic, The Only Poll That Matters.

Posted by: votenic | May 2, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Hillary is work, work, working on deception and short term fixes that make nice sound bites - now she's having to defend them. Do you really want four years of the bobble-headed Clinton's back in Washington? The only thing less appealing is Good Ol 'GW.

Barack plays from the heart. Who cares about sitting in the pews with a thousand other people or one sermon or 20 years worth. I've tuned into a "crazy sermon" or two on Sunday TV just because the reverend is so sterotypically over the top. It didn't change me, and amid the rhetoric which is part of someone's personality, there are rational thoughts that have traction.

If culturally based hallaujah style, or charismatic preaching format was Barack's main frame of reference for what church is about, how can you hold a man accountable for what the preacher says? And knowing how Obama listens to all sides, in bringing communities together, what kind of character would he have shown to just quit the church, and walk away because he disagrees with some of the content. It is a free country, free speech, freedom of expression - all ideals which Barack embraces.

Obama hangs tough, he is the glass half full guy, while his competitor is ready to always change the glass and what's in it to satisfy the latest polls, pundits and trends. Is that what leadership in America has become? Who can pander the best, and fool the greatest amount of people?

Compared to our present state of government anyone has enough experience to lead America - especially if all we want to do as a people is to follow the path they lay out before us (the path of least resistance?). The last time there was a candidate who held hope and idealism as a main bridge to their platform was JFK. Let's not squash another one.

Posted by: donJulio | May 2, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Google: Paul V. Clinton

Posted by: DAB | May 2, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

HRC will not be the nominee. It is only a matter of time. More time than it should be.

It is unfortunate that HillBill seem to be intent on a game of chicken between the Democratic party and two very important groups (young and african american voters).

Many of you HRC supporters surely can not believe that at this point in the process there could be any way of reconciliation if the pledged lead is overturned by supers because HRC (along with Fox News and Bill O') has turned the primary into a race about race with her GOP-like tactics.

Obama/Biden 2008!

Posted by: DAB | May 2, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

dollar rallies from historic lows

OIL up even with dollar strength

We DID not lose as many jobs as expected, thank god for low expectations


Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Rat-The, lighten up and get a life. Nobody's support is based on whether the candidate can play basketball or not. This is just a little story. Gives you some perspective on Obama's personality. Not a big decider.

Posted by: Steve Charb | May 2, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse


I need a break and straight six 400cc humms but only on super unleaded

Posted by: merecedces | May 2, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Well, if you want to play guilt by association | May 2, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Why did Carville and George NOT SPEAK OUT about the discusting language



Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Shocking! More dopey pandering on the Obama campaign trail.

If he's not bowling he's eating a waffle or playing basketball.

Meanwhile, Hillary is talking about how to actually achieve meaningful changes and working working working...

Posted by: Pennsylvanian | May 2, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Rat is paranoid -- I love reading his posts, despite being an Obama supporter. It spices life up.

As for Wright, who is loony -- Obama used him politically to prove he was "black enough" (remember in October the ridiculous question was is he "black enough.") Similar to Bush singing the praises of Pat Robertson to "connect" to the common folk. People who use Wright's statements (who I am told isn't running for President), to say they won't vote for the Obama-man are just looking for a proxy excuse not to vote for a black man

Posted by: Warfarin | May 2, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I saw that Video on U-TUBE

Where is OURTRAGE O"Really and Hannutty?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Did you see that u-tube video of George Stepenwhatever and Carville on U-tube going over the Indian results in the OLD CLINTON CAMPAIN?

shoooking lol

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse


Rat is, shall we say, not exactly a rational person. He's argued, for instance, that the blacks in the South were ingrates for migrating north instead of sticking around and pitching in to help rebuild their former masters' infrastructure after the Civil War. Anyone who thinks that way just can't be taken seriously.

Posted by: whatmeregister | May 2, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

and all the other great College KIDS IN INDIANA MY home sweet home

1737 Dlegates almost to 2025 287 to go


Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse





why are the neocons attacking ONLY Obama?
why are they helping Hillary?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse


Just ignore the incoherent ramblings of the demented village idiot, AKA "Rat-The". He's clearly a senile old fart with nothing better to do with his time than troll every story with his craziness.

Posted by: TheGribbler | May 2, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Facts are a stubborn thing. Obama cannot close his 20 year old relationship with Wright because there is so much video evidence against it. On the TV program THE VIEW, Obama declared that Reverend Wright accepted that his view were inappropriate and mischaracterized. That it had offended many people. Then weeks later Wright goes on a national Hate America Press Tour? This was a blatant lie. Or worse, Obama was fooled by Wright which is kind of scary. That a possible next president can be played by a character such as Wright. Check the video evidence yourselves.

Posted by: Leanza Cornett | May 2, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

ManUnitdFan-Your Kidding Right?

We are trying to replace a Traitorous Fool of a President, that through incompetence or idiotic Cronyism, surrounded himself with the biggest collection of Morons the US Executive Branch has ever seen.

We have problems developing all across the World like a masticized Cancer.

And we have a possible Contender for the position of Leader of the Free World being promoted because he can throw a God D'ed BASKETBALL!

They say Sarcasm is the sign of a weak mind. Maybe.

Sometimes it is a response to an even STUPIDER and MUCH WEAKER Mind!

Think of it in similar terms as "Ask a Stupid Question..."

Well, "Write a Moronic piece of Tripe Article..."

Then, sorry if a lot of my Satire goes over your Head. I ridicule Problems in order to show the faults there-in.

Like NOW! ;~)

Posted by: RAT-The | May 2, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I'm constantly confused by some of the stuff you write, Rat - what with all the emoticons and over-capitalizations, mixed in with vague anti-socialist sentiments that never have anything to do with the article that was written. If there's a point in there, somewhere, you may want to try to refine your message a bit. It's just lost on the rest of us.

Posted by: ManUnitdFan | May 2, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

The Election is rigged against Obama , we should have seen Media coverage all over this to be fair and balanced about Creditability issues and whose has the Best Judgment to be President , this is a Joke ; the Clintons are duping us all and the media is covering this up

FEC Complaint:

D. Colette Wilson
Attorney at Law
1880 S. Redwood St.
Escondido, California 92025
(760) 580-0561

December 29, 2007

By Federal Express
Office of the General Counsel
Federal Election Commission
999 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20463

Complaint: Calling Upon the Commission to:

(1) Void the conciliation agreement granting immunity to
Respondents for any possible violations of law arising out of
fundraising events between 9/16/99 and 11/7/00;

(2) Re-open the Commission's investigation into MUR 5225, including
clear evidence of Senator Clinton's and her agents' illegal solicitation
and coordination of excessive federal campaign contributions,
pursuant to 2 U.S.C. sections 437g(d)(1)(A)(i) and 441a, subsections
(a)(7)(B)(i) and (f); and

(3) Investigate Respondents' continuing violations of 2 U.S.C. section
434(b) and 18 U.S.C. sections 1001 and 2, based on New York Senate
2000's fourth amended FEC report filed January 30, 2006.

Complainant: Peter F. Paul

Respondents: Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton; Hillary Rodham Clinton for U.S. Senate Committee, Inc.; Harold Ickes, Treasurer; New York Senate 2000 Committee; Andrew Grossman, Treasurer; William Jefferson Clinton, Edward Rendell, Howard Wolfson, Kelly Craighead, David
Rosen, and James Levin,

The Lawsuit

In an astonishing ruling by the Judge [on Friday, April 25,2008], Hillary Clinton may NOT be deposed about her role in the illegal solicitation and cover up of the largest contribution made to her Senate campaign until after the presidential election.

This is the same contribution Hillary denied knowing about or receiving when Lloyd Grove of the Washington Post asked her specifically about it and her relationship with the donor, Peter Paul, in August 2000.

Posted by: Rick | May 2, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Wow! :-o

I NEVER realized!

Let's let "Barry" take over the US like we let Chavez steal Venezuela-(Then all the invested Capital Foreign States invested in Venezuela), He IS A GOD!

NOT! :-(

Posted by: RAT-The | May 2, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

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