February 12th, 2009
11:39 AM ET
5 years ago

Obama stays neutral in Duke-North Carolina rivalry

The President recently refused to predict a winner in a face-off between two North Carolina college basketball teams.
The President recently refused to predict a winner in a face-off between two North Carolina college basketball teams.

(CNN) - Apparently ever the consensus-builder, President Barack Obama avoided taking sides in the perennial feud that is the Duke-North Carolina men's college basketball rivalry.

President Obama was meeting with a group of regional reporters Wednesday to pitch his stimulus package - just hours before the Tobacco Road showdown in Durham, North Carolina - when the topic of the game came up, according to the Raleigh News and Observer.

The President, a basketball star in high school, declined to take a position.

At first, Obama hinted he might side with the Duke Blue Devils. He said team was “coming off one of the worst losses it has had in several years,” a blowout loss to Clemson last week that coach Mike Krzyzewski might have used as motivation in practice.

“They might be fired up,” Obama said. “I hope it’s a close game.”

But even though he famously scrimmaged with the Tar Heels before the state's primary last year, Obama also declined to support the University of North Carolina. Why? He pointed to his personal aide, Reggie Love, who played at Duke.

“If I said anything contrary to Duke, I might not be able to find my Blackberry,” he joked.

North Carolina won the game, 101-87.

Updated 9:43 a.m.


Filed under: North Carolina • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (156 Responses)
  1. Had It

    CA is broke. Those octuplets are costing CA $30,000 per day EACH just in medical.

    Fertility treatment for IVF – how much does that cost and who paid for it?

    14 kids? Lots of welfare for 18 years. CA will stay broke.

    February 12, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  2. NP

    Who cares, work on the economy!

    February 12, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  3. Dittohead

    just vote present

    February 12, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  4. pete

    I couldn't care less about Obama's thinking on basketball, let alone college basketball.

    February 12, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  5. sean

    i'm starting to really like obama...he's such a down to earth kinda guy and still a respectable leader...you guys need to relax. not all politics needs to be high strung and depressing...lighten up

    February 12, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  6. sean

    i think henry's just mad cuz the blue devils lost

    February 12, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
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