Obama Talks Hoops, Seems Human-ish

Part of me feels bad for liking this clip of President Obama talking NBA with Bill Simmons, like I’m buying into all the dumb “Who would you rather have a beer with?” stuff from the Bush elections, like I’m failing to acknowledge my own biases.

But on the other hand, just watch it, and keep Mitt Romney in mind as you do:

Sure, Obama doesn’t quite come across as Just Some Guy, but have you ever seen Romney look anywhere close to this natural? Does he ever come across as someone who is simply shooting the breeze about a subject he enjoys?

No, and it matters in an election, because of course there’s something to all the old dumb Bush cowboy stuff, in the sense that voters need to feel a sense of connection to a candidate. Beyond the perception that Romney is a flip-flopper and/or lacks orthodox conservative bona fides, his startling inability to elicit this sense in the average viewer or voter is why he is such a hamstrung candidate.

Washington Monthly - Donate Today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Jesse Singal

Jesse Singal is a former opinion writer for The Boston Globe and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. He is currently a master's student at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Policy. Follow him on Twitter at @jessesingal.