Campaign years are all about hedging. Why say something definitive and upset half the country when you can speak in circles and say nothing at all?
That's the strategy President Barack Obama is going with when asked for his Super Bowl XLVI pick:
"I can't call it. I can't call it," Obama said of the New England Patriots-New York Giants game in an ABC News exclusive with Diane Sawyer. "When the [Chicago] Bears are not involved, I can't make predictions because I will get into trouble. But both are great teams. [Tom] Brady obviously one of the best quarterbacks we've ever seen. Eli Manning playing as well as he's ever played, and it's going to be a fun Super Bowl."
On one level, that's exceedingly lame. How can a guy who gives his opinion on a first-round NCAA tournament game between Baylor and Sam Houston State cop out on making a pick for the biggest sporting event of the year?
On another level, the president has to consider November's election. He doesn't need to worry about winning New York, but New Jersey and Massachusetts could be battleground states. Picking one team over the other could alienate some voters. Granted, someone who would base their presidential vote on who Obama picks in the Super Bowl is unlikely to be a voter and/or prove capable of finding his polling place on a map.
In other news, Mitt Romey has yet to make his Super Bowl pick, though you'd assume the former Massachusetts governor will go with New England ... and then change his pick to New York at the last minute.
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