I think that the odds are pretty good that Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus is going to outperform his woeful predecessor Michael Steele (he's already off to a good start), but he's not going to win the future by indulging in this sort of silliness:
Priebus just posted this on Twitter, linking to a right-wing blog post that attacked Obama for videotaping a brief segment on ESPN:
"How can @BarackObama say he is leading when puts his NCAA bracket over the budget & other pressing issues? http://bit.ly/ieSuCI"
There are lots of substantive ways to offer the "President Obama isn't paying attention to [insert issue I care about here]" critique from the left and the right, but this isn't one of them. I'd understand this reaction if Obama had vowed that he wouldn't participate in NCAA brackets while the unemployment rate was over 7 percent or something, but the reality is that lots of Americans with very important work to do still take some time out of their day to do NCAA brackets, and I'd expect someone who is not badly out of touch with the lives of ordinary Americans to understand this. (I'm similarly bored and mystified by the interparty squabbling over who gets to play golf and when.)
But Priebus has done something baffling here. See, there are going to be NCAA tournaments for many years to come. And it's inevitable that one day, there will be a Republican in the Oval Office. I'm sure if Reince Priebus had his druthers, that would happen while he was at the head of the RNC. So why is Priebus boxing in a future GOP commander-in-chief in this fashion, by making it out of bounds for that person to fill out a tournament bracket? That seems awfully unfair. It's not the sort of thing I'd begrudge a president.
Hopefully, that future Republican president will remember that he or she is not permitted to participate in this American tradition. It won't be easy, seeing as that man or woman will already have to strain his or her recall having to memorize every public statement and speech he or she will have to make, because the GOP decided that teleprompters are similarly unpresidential.
RNC Chair: Obama Puts NCAA Bracket Ahead Of Important Issues [TPMDC]