Barak-e-tology has swept the nation. With everything that is going on right now, President Obama took a few moments out of his busy schedule to participate in the long lasted tradition of filling out the Division 1 NCAA basketball tournament bracket. Millions of people are expected to fill out their brackets this week and coupled with the astounding statistic that companies will lose billions of dollars due to employees neglecting work in favor of focusing on their picks it is not shocking that President Obama threw his hat in the ring. There are two things I think are worth talking about. First is the amount that people actually care about his picks. Many negative nancies out there (Ryan) frown upon the President indulging in such low-minded activities during times of crisis, however I appreciate a president who has a sense of what is going on in the world aside from politics. I know its cliché, but I blame the forefathers for making me care so much about this. They were the ones who created the individuality of the office and because of it, we have focused on the individual ever since. There are people who watch the link on ESPN solely to hear what he has to say regardless of whether they care about politics or sports. The sports junkies get a rare glimpse of the president in their social atmosphere and the politicos get a chance to criticize the president for not focusing on the issues that matter to them. Who the president eventually picks doesn’t really matter but I think people watch the President and judge him accordingly. They try, like everything he does, to pick apart his weaknesses and strengths, and learn things they wouldn’t otherwise have known about the man who runs our country. And, for the president, it is just another opportunity to put his head on the chopping block and let people tear him apart for trying to be the common person everyone says he isn’t. The people who say the president is too elitist are the same ones who are criticizing him for trying to immerse himself in a celebrated event in American sports culture. The sad thing is that we all know that he hasn’t watched a single game all year and probably had very little say in the eventual picks (minus the final four MAYBE). Like everything else, he was briefed beforehand and given talking points so that he could sound like he genuinely did have time to watch a season’s worth of NCAA basketball. Regardless of which member of Obama’s administration was responsible for coming up with the picks or even if he did them himself, I couldn’t help but notice how much these picks are a reflection of his approach with other policies. Now I do not claim expertise in gambling on the final four or any specific policy issue, but I do know that Obama has been under attack lately for failing to take a stance on the hot issues facing our country. Even today, the debate on the blog has been about whether Obama’s no fly-zone policy is too little too late. For this reason, it should come as no surprise that Obama’s final four is made up of only number 1 seeds. For those of you who don’t know, there has NEVER been a final four of only number 1 seeds. Only rookie bracketers fall for the selection committee’s seemingly arbitrary seeding process. Yet, unsurprisingly, Obama made the safe picks. By doing this, Obama can defer to the fact that his favorites were upset by teams who either played better or had more momentum going into the game than his favorite. Thus, regardless of who wins, he can still hold his belief that his picks were the better teams. This is the stubbornness we are accustomed to. Whether a policy is successful or not, Obama will still feel as if it were the best decision he could have made. For some reason, and maybe this is just because I care way too much about sports, but I would have liked to see Obama pick some upsets or at least a Cinderella team. It would have given me some reassurance about the man who we all felt stood for something.