David R. Henderson  

The New Football Czar

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On CBS's "60 Minutes" this evening, almost the whole time was devoted to an interview with Barack and Michelle Obama. They are an incredibly charming couple and it's hard not to like them, especially him.

But at the end, interviewer Steve Kroft turned to college football. He asked Obama about Obama's desire to have college football playoffs to determine the national champion. Obama has expressed his desire to have playoffs and he reiterated that desire. Kroft asked Obama what he intended to do about it and Obama said, "I'm going to throw my weight around a little bit."

Excuse me? Remember that when a President or President-elect threatens to "throw his weight around," the main tool he has to do that is the threat of force. Against whom will he threaten to use force?

As we used to say on the playground, "Who died and made him king?"


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CATEGORIES: Regulation



COMMENTS (23 to date)
simpsonian writes:

What are the limits of presidential power according to Obama? His comments like these are scary. He seems to know the answers to everything with incredible certainty.

John Mondragon writes:

I'm going to go ahead and venture that it was a joke.

Call me crazy...

Jesse writes:

MUSSOLINI!!!

The real question is, was this post a joke?
I'm a little afraid to ask.

Jacob Oost writes:

"Hard not to like"???

So a little charm during an interview erases his radical pro-infanticide views, his socialism-lite, his voter fraud, etc.?

Sorry for getting political, but I'm tired of pretending people aren't huge ******-bags when they are.

To salvage this rant, I'll mention that Obama's been pledging to use force on Americans a great deal over the past year, but people rarely see it that way. Take all of his...ugh..."green" initiatives. Gotta use force to make people switch light bulbs, pad energy costs, etc.

How did America stop thinking about these things in terms of threats to liberty?

dWj writes:

I strongly encourage Obama to spend all of his energies meddling with college football, and to give no attention to anything more important. I oppose expanding the playoff, but it's not my biggest fear from the new administration.

Mike writes:

Lighten up. (Unless this post was a joke; in which case I need to lighten up.)

Brad Hutchings writes:

I guess we now know the most popular blog among college presidents! If Obama gets them to institute an 8 team playoff or at the very least a +1, I will be delighted. The BCS is simply a tool of the man to deny USC its rightful share* of national championships.

(*) 3 of the past 6 years, plus most likely this year.

pmp writes:

The Russian above translates into "The Great Man Thanks you." LOL

[Sorry, pmp, but the Russian comment was spam and was removed about the same time you posted your translation. Flattery and short mots amongst spammers are, unfortunately, common forms of social and anti-spam-filter engineering. But thanks for that translation!--Econlib Ed.]

dearieme writes:

"it's hard not to like them, especially him": your cruelty does not go unnoticed.

Billy writes:

I remember in the interview Obama talking about using government to "kick start" an economy that has "ground to a halt." Instead of questioning Obama on whether the economy has actually ground to a halt the interviewer followed up with "Do you plan to give many speeches?" WTF?

PrestoPundit writes:

In 1970's cement, on the playground at his private, exclusive high school, you'll find written:

King Obama

They guy has wanted to be President of some country (we don't know which) since he was in kindergarten.

And again, in third grade, he was telling people he wanted to be President.

He's one of those.

Lord writes:

Ha! The main tool he has is moral suasion and that is far more effective than threats of force.

Jesse writes:

I wanted to get someone at my company to do something at work, so I went to a higher-up in the company and had him "throw his weight around."

Pop quiz -- what sort of workplace do I have?

a) Concentration camp
b) Socialist commune
c) Mafia crime family
d) Beautiful wonderful gorgeous free-market capitalist corporation, also known as God's work on earth

SpotCash writes:

Hey -

Why don't you blame it all on Bush. That's what you have been doing for everything else.

Just remember, Consider what the alternatives might have been. And remember, W had to live with non- majority Congresses.

it's not all pure like eco

Steve Sailer writes:

Obama gets extremely emotional about sports. He's one of these high testosterone sports obsessives to are wrapped up in victory. My new book on Obama shows how his sports mania can be used to explain more fundamental aspects of his personality.

Steve writes:

Brad Hutchings:

How'd you enjoy that one-pete? Is it annoying to root for the "best team in the country" every year, but still only have the same number of national championships as BYU in the last three decades?

Brad Hutchings:

USC wouldn't make an 8 game playoff as of today. Like the other sports, the playoffs would take the 6 big conference champs and then some non-conference worthies like Florida/Alabama, Okl/Tex/TT, Utah, or Boise.

Oregon State, not USC, makes the cut. If only SC were better.....

Methinks writes:

When you're president of a country, joking about "throwing my weight around" is not funny. The inauguration isn't for two months and this redneck is already out-gaffing Bush.

Brad Hutchings writes:

Well, I have been a Trojan fan since I was this (holds hand 2 feet above ground) tall, through thick and about two decades of thin. The Pete Carroll era is like a great dream you don't want to end. Contrary to Steve Sailer's thesis, there are obsessive sports fanatics who don't fall apart or become disgusting jerks when their team's lose. I remember quite a few rainy Saturdays at the Coliseum in the 90s when they didn't win much and a friend had good seats, and we'd get there at sunrise and tailgate all day.

And there are sports fanatics who appreciate their rivals. Growing up, the most memorable sportsmanship lesson I learned from my Dad is that it's not OK to cheer when someone gets hurt, except if it's a Notre Dame player. Also my first memory of sarcasm, though I didn't know it at the time.

So all that said. had there been a play-off, Carson Palmer would have brought us an NC in 2003. IIRC, we got 2 first place AP votes after the Orange Bowl. Leinart would have led us to two in 2004 and 2005. Vince Young played lights out with a giant chip on his shoulder in the 2006 Rose Bowl and Texas deserved that win. And when Oregon slaps the Beavers around, we'd run the table in late December, and end the year with Johnson, Gable, and McKnight each rushing for 100+ yards against Florida. Next year will be Sanchez's year, even as Tebow brings home Heisman #3.

Some of you may be lucky enough to have a great decade for your favorite team. I'll always have SC's run in the 00s.

Charlie writes:

I will bet all the money I have that if the BCS adopts a playoff, it won't be because Barrack Obama used force on school presidents.

The president is a political broker, how do businessmen get deals done? You don't need force. One thing he could do is get people together and strike the right arrangement. If certain people are holding out for more surplus, he could threaten to bring it to the public's attention.

This was a silly post.

Francisco Aboim writes:

like it was said: "lighten up"

Michael writes:

[Comment removed pending confirmation of email address and rudeness. Email the webmaster@econlib.org to request restoring your comment privileges. A valid email address is required to post comments on EconLog.--Econlib Ed.]

Sheldon Richman writes:

Good post, David. I watched the interview with my wife, and when I heard Obama make that comment, I turned to Cheryl and said, "You know, he could have won some points by telling Kroft, 'Steve, under the limited constitutional powers of the presidency, I will have nothing official to say in response to your question. But speaking strictly as a fan...."

He blew it.

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