Can you support Duke and have a political career in Kentucky?

It's well known that Duke is college basketball's most polarizing program, but this might be the first year that a political candidate has used that to his advantage.

Hoping to make his opponent in Kentucky's U.S. Senate Republican primary look like an outsider to voters, candidate Trey Grayson created a political ad featuring video of Rand Paul saying the words, "I'm Rand Paul, and I'm a Duke Blue Devil."

"There are big differences between Rand Paul and me," Grayson starts the ad by saying. "But in Kentucky during March, there's one really big difference."

Then after the ad cuts to the clip of Paul, Grayson continues, "I'm proud to say I'm a University of Kentucky Wildcat. I'm Trey Grayson, and I approved this message because I will always cheer for Big Blue."

Let me preface my thoughts by emphasizing that I don't live in Kentucky, I don't have a political allegiance to either candidate and I had no idea who either man was prior to hearing about this story.

With that said, this ad comes across a little smarmy even if its intention is to be light-hearted. And it's certainly convenient that Grayson forgot to mention he's a Harvard grad, though he did receive both JD and MBA degrees from Kentucky and does have basketball season tickets.

Paul's campaign responded via statement this week with some typical political sparring.

"Well, I guess that might be a real issue if you're running for student council," said Paul, who has a degree from Baylor for undergrad and from Duke medical school. "It's especially funny watching my Harvard-educated opponent complain about where I went to medical school."

I hope both these candidates have stronger issues in their platforms than what basketball teams they support. Otherwise, is there a box on the ballot voters can check for neither of the above?

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