Hoops McCain?

mccain_bracket.jpgYa know how they say people choose their candidate based on who’d they’d rather have a beer with? Well, how ’bout whether or not you like his NCAA picks? On his Web site, John McCain has listed his bracket picks for the tourney, and the campaign has put forth a challenge, too. McCain “Team Members,” a.k.a., people who register for the site, with the top picks will get goodies from the candidate. “First place will receive a McCain 2008 Fleece, second place will receive a McCain 2008 Hat and third place will receive a McCain 2008 Lapel Pin,” according to the site.

I realize these campaigns need all the money they can get, but, what is this NPR? Where’s the tote bag?

Anyway, if you want to submit your picks, or even if you want to see McCain’s, you’ve got to register. If I’m reading his bracket correctly (and I honestly no zilch about basketball), it looks like he’s chosen North Carolina as the champions.

Of course, my first thought was, “Hmmm…I wonder if he hopes to impress a particular primary state by choosing their home team.” That would be lame and probably pointless, but politicians are known to kowtow to specific constituencies when necessary. Though NC will probably be among the growing number of early primary states this year, voters there were divided pretty closely down the middle in terms of which of the two major parties they went with, both in the ’06 congressional and ’04 presidential elections.

All right, enough of the conspiratorial theorizing. This is an interesting approach, and could serve to position McCain as a more approachable everyman, rather than the slightly gruff, distant, heroic image he casts now. Then again, maybe he’s just really into basketball. They say he’s a big sports nut, which he’s evinced by taking legislative action to clean up sports including boxing and baseball.

Either way, I’m surprised there’s no specific bracket pick sponsored link resulting when I search “John McCain” or “March Madness” or “NCAA” on Google. I’m sure the two tourney-related terms are expensive right now, but the folks doing interactive work on the campaign, Campaign Solutions, are all about search.

And another thing, I wonder if they considered tying the contest to fundraising somehow. I guess having money involved would seem too close to gambling, another McCain bete noir.

Another thing I can’t help but wonder: Will it be long before we see Hillary making her NASCAR predictions?

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