Obama to take Cameron to NCAA tournament game
Talk about getting the royal treatment: President Barack Obama,
an avid basketball fan, is bringing British Prime Minister David
Cameron to an NCAA Tournament game in Ohio, showing off one of
America’s most popular sporting events.
The White House said Obama and Cameron will attend a first round
game in Dayton on Tuesday, part of the official visit to the United
States by the British prime minister and his wife, Samantha.
The trip to the NCAA tournament game is intended to underscore
the special relationship between the two key allies and will
precede a state dinner on Wednesday. Obama and Cameron are expected
to discuss the upcoming NATO and G-8 summits along with the Middle
East, Iran and the global economy.
The trip to Ohio may carry some political significance for
Ohio is a longstanding political battleground state and was a
major prize won by Republican Mitt Romney in last Tuesday’s
mega-state GOP primaries. Obama, who carried Ohio in 2008, is
expected to compete feverishly for voters there in this year’s
Britain has been a key U.S. ally on foreign policy matters,
including war in Afghanistan and the bombing campaign in Libya that
led to the removal of Moammar Gadhafi. The White House has said
Obama and Cameron have developed a strong personal bond.
The U.S. and British leaders played pingpong at a London school
last year. Obama regularly plays pickup basketball games and has
talked about his NCAA tournament picks for the past three years on
The tournament’s 68-team field will be announced on Sunday. Last
year, Virginia Commonwealth was one of the teams that played in an
opening round game in Dayton, starting a run that led to VCU’s
appearance in the Final Four.