Why Politicians Shouldn’t Talk About Sports

Posted by | January 9, 2012 09:10 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

It wasn’t the most important moment in the Republican debate marathon Saturday night and Sunday morning but it did hit one of my pet peeves.  One of the ways that politicians pretend to be normal guys is to talk about sports.  So when Diane Sawyer asked the candidates what they would be doing if they weren’t debating, well, the lies started flowing:

Newt Gingrich piped up: “I’d be watching the college championship basketball game.”

His opponents quickly piled on the corrections: Obviously what the ex-Speaker meant was the college football championship game. Rick Santorum said he and his family would be “huddled around” and watching the game on their Saturday night.” Afraid it’s football. I love it,” Mitt Romney chimed in, smugly.

The BCS Championship Game is Monday night.

I don’t even follow college football and I knew when the championship game was!  It’s interesting fact that none of the last three presidents would have made this mistake.  But you know what, it doesn’t matter whether they knew when the championship game.  I’m happy if they are thinking about more important things.  What is irritating is that Gingrich, Santorum, and Romney pretended to know and fell over each other trying to one up each other on their sports knowledge and this does say something about who they are.

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Copyright 2012 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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