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Obama courtside for Georgetown vs. Duke

By Krissah Thompson
On a snowy Saturday, President Obama got out of the White House to check out two top-ranked basket ball teams. He was among the sellout crowd watching Georgetown take on Duke.

Georgetown's ranked No. 7. Duke's No. 8.

There was no telling who Obama was rooting for. His personal assistant Reggie Love played for Duke. But, there are also Georgetown alumni on the White House staff. Communications director Dan Pfeiffer is a 1998 grad.

Obama attended the game with Vice President Biden, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, press secretary Robert Gibbs, Deputy Chief of Staff Mona Sutphen and senior adviser David Axelrod. They sat only feet from the court. Love was elsewhere in the stands cheering for Duke.

After half-time, Obama joined CBS commentators Clark Kellogg and Verne Lundquist for a few minutes of sports banter and color commentary. It's well known that the president is a big basketball fan, but he told the announcers that "unfortunately" he rarely gets to watch a full game and stays connected to the scores on ESPN Sports Center. He said he tries to watch every final four game.

Asked about the play between Georgetown and Duke -- Georgetown led at the half -- Obama said he was, "impressed by the guards for Georgetown. They're big strong guys. They've been a little sloppy in the second half and Duke is picking up its 'D'."

Then, he took the mic to "channel his inner Clark Kellogg" and call a play. "This was a terrific spin move and he didn't get any help coming back," Obama said describing a player running down the court, jumping up right as he approached the basket and throwing the ball up.

Obama and Kellogg, who played ball against Obama's brother-in-law Craig Robinson in college, went back-and-forth a little about their rivalry. Then the president challenged Kellogg himself, but not on the court. Both men acknowledge that at their ages their knees are "creaky."

"After retirement I'm coming after your job Clark," Obama said, laughing. "You either have three more years or seven. I'm not sure which, but you need to plan accordingly. I'm going to do some play by play."

Lundquist ended the interview with a little political jostling. "You're obviously a left-hander, but do you have any problems going to your right?"

Obama had a quick comeback: "I have no problem going to my right. I met with the Republican caucus yesterday, but there's no doubt I have a stronger left hand."

Before returning to his seat, Obama people's thoughts should be with the troops in the field and those serving in Haiti. Obama took off with 1:15 to go. Georgetown led 87-70.

It's the second college game that Obama's attended this season. On Nov. 28 he and his family watched Robinson's Oregon State team play George Washington.

By Krissah Thompson  |  January 30, 2010; 2:09 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Barack Obama  
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Comments

I was stunned to learn that former Pres Bush 41 was in and out of the White House in only 35 minutes for his meeting with the First Cipher on Saturday! Bush is one of the most knowledgeable folks around in the areas of foreign policy and national security (former CIA director) and one would think that obama, who can't find his axx with both hands in either area, might profit from a couple of hours talking to Bush! Maybe even ask some of his brilliant, "probing" questions, so beloved by the lame stream media! But it was not to be. Priorities, after all, are priorities. On to the hoops!

Posted by: hughglass | January 31, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

It should be noted that Biden's younger son, Hunter, went to Georgetown, if we're trying to determine rooting interests. So did some of Nancy Pelosi's kids, which explains her occasional presence at games.

Posted by: gfriday | January 30, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

This is a test.

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 30, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

The man can't even enjoy a damn basketball game without you haters making all these stupid remarks.

So am I to believe that it's okay for one president to go somewhere and, oh let's say, CLEAR SOME BRUSH from his ranch. But another president can't ride a few blocks from the White House and check out a basketball game!

AMAZING!

Posted by: whatyoutalkinboutman | January 30, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

CORRECTION NEEDED:

You're missing a verb here, as this isn't English without one. As I post this comment, the article currently reads: "Before returning to his seat, Obama people's thoughts should be with the troops in the field and those serving in Haiti."

I'm assuming it was something like "Obama noted" or "Obama said" --but "Obama people's thoughts" doesn't make much sense.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | January 30, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse
-------------------------------

You missed the memo: We are now Obama's People.

Posted by: thinker16 | January 30, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

"Maybe he wants to change how we determine the National Champion in basketball. He's so smart and all."
----------------------------
And there's nothing he can't do.

----------------------------

The sun shines because of him.

Posted by: thinker16 | January 30, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

CORRECTION NEEDED:

You're missing a verb here, as this isn't English without one. As I post this comment, the article currently reads: "Before returning to his seat, Obama people's thoughts should be with the troops in the field and those serving in Haiti."

I'm assuming it was something like "Obama noted" or "Obama said" --but "Obama people's thoughts" doesn't make much sense.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | January 30, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

it's the second college game that Obama's attended this season college game http://usspost.com/duke-georgetown-usspost-com-4669/

Posted by: susan166 | January 30, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Papakim - I don't disagree that the White House staff shouldn't leave the building. I just disagree that they should return. The country would be better off if they leave and never come back.

Posted by: thatsright2 | January 30, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

To suggest that White House staff should not leave the building because of circumstances around the globe or security costs is ignorant in the extreme. Tea baggers no doubt. These Obama haters were strangely silent when deficits soared, unjust wars were waged and Bush enjoyed a record number of vacation days. Nobody works harder than Obama to tackle domestic and international problems. I know it kills the Tea baggers to see Obama's quick wit, charisma and appeal on public display because there is little of that on the right. Mitch McConnell anyone? Grab a mop if you want to help clean up the mess. Otherwise you are part of the problem.

Posted by: papakim | January 30, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

What a failure...as the president and as a human being. Can't wait for this sociological experiment gone bad to end.

Posted by: thatsright2 | January 30, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

"Maybe he wants to change how we determine the National Champion in basketball. He's so smart and all."

And there's nothing he can't do.

Posted by: BethesdaDog | January 30, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Ooooo Mr. president -- what a common, regular "joe" kind of thing to do. Were you wearing your sweats and sneakers?

I'm sure it only cost $50K or so in security to have you there. Thanks again for more wasted money.

Posted by: jimbob3 | January 30, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

refreshing to see him get out of the whitehouse and enjoy DC. Go Hoyas!

Posted by: VT101 | January 30, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Nawww, he's going with Reggie. He's got a little Carolina in his blood. Go Duke!!

Posted by: cadams3@hotmail.com | January 30, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Maybe he wants to change how we determine the National Champion in basketball. He's so smart and all.

Posted by: thinker16 | January 30, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Go hoyas! He's definitely routing for the Hoyas.

Posted by: DCcomm | January 30, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

He is thinking that AG1231 is a jerk!

Posted by: lkjlkj | January 30, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Obama and Biden goofin' at a b-ball game while Hatians starve, our Troops die, our country is in ruins and the deficit soars. What is this guy thinking?

Posted by: AG1231 | January 30, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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