Obama and Duncan Played Basketball on Election Day
Hours before the polls closed for the 2012 elections, President Barack Obama found himself on a basketball court with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and former Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen, according to multiple reports.
The New York Times reported that a basketball game has become "one of the campaign's central rituals" on days where voters head to the polls, as the president reportedly "believes that he does not win when he does not play."
Obama skipped playing twice during the 2008 primary campaign against Hillary Rodham Clinton, and lost both of those days, according to The Times.
And thus, at roughly 1 p.m. Central time, Obama and his entourage rolled up to the Attack Athletics basketball court in downtown Chicago, The Times reports—the same place where Michael Jordan once turned during his days as a superstar for the Chicago Bulls. (There's a reason Sports Illustrated dubbed Obama "unofficially, the president of basketball.")
Afterwards, Duncan spoke with USA Today about the game:
"We did this four years ago and had a lot of fun. There was real good camaraderie, and he's worked so amazingly hard, it was a chance to relax with friends for a couple of hours. It brought good luck four years ago. Hopefully, it will bring good luck again."
Duncan added that Obama was in "great spirits," "cracking jokes and talking trash and having a good time." (How much would you pay to hear that in-game chatter?)
According to a White House pool reporter, Obama's team won by "like 20." Pippen played alongside Obama, while Duncan was on the opposing team, according to 2010 Democratic Senate nominee Alexi Giannoulias, who also participated in the game.
Well, as we all know by now, Obama's lucky basketball game ended up working out in his favor. And here on EdWeek, we're breaking down exactly what that means for the future of K-12 education.
Alyson Klein explained last night what education issues await Obama in his second term, while Michele McNeil detailed five issues facing Duncan in a second term today on our Politics K-12 blog. You can find all of our education-related election coverage from our blogs here, or visit our Campaign 2012 landing page for even more.
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