Chris Graham: Ebb and flow

A few months back, Barack Obama’s chances of being re-elected were about as good as the UVa. basketball team’s chances of getting an NCAA Tournament invite.

And now … they’re much better. But things change.

To Barack Obama: The president has no control over the European economic situation, which is uncomfortably fluid. Neither does the president, with an otherwise unimpeachable (dare I use that word with Republicans in control of a chamber of Congress?) foreign-policy record post-bin Laden, have any control over what happens vis-a-vis Israel and Iran.

Iran, we all know, will continue to rattle the sabres. Israel, we all know, will continues to shake its sabres back in the general direction of Teheran.

As much as Obama’s fortunes have improved over the past several months, there’s still plenty of time between now and November for things to go back in the other direction. The collapse of a major EU economy could be the sneeze that causes the rest of the world to catch a cold that puts a damper on the recovery here domestically that has been the fuel to the improvement in Obama’s approval ratings.

I don’t know that we can get a read on how the breakout of hot hostilities between Iran and Israel would shake out for Obama. No question the U.S. would get dragged into the middle of whatever could happen there. Conventional wisdom would suggest that a hot war could break to the benefit of the incumbent in an election race, but I’m not so sure given the close relations between Israeli leaders and the neocons here Stateside.

An aside on presidential-race politics before I go into sports for a graph or two … after reading about Rick Santorum’s finances, I mean, wow. Apparently what we all need to do is run for the Senate and lose spectacularly so that we can become millionaires. I can identify – kinda, sorta. I ran for City Council four years ago, and probably coincidentaly, my financial fortunes are much better today than they were in 2008. Not on the scale, certainly, of the Santorums. Which is the reason I’ll throw this out publicly here – Graham for governor in ’13. (Don’t vote for me. I don’t want to win. Just doing it to cash in later.)

OK, to the ‘Hoos. Folks, they played out of their gourds for weeks to get to 19-4. Give them credit for massively overachieving. Back-to-back bad losses to UNC and Clemson have people jumping off the bandwagon, and I can see why, because I’ll say this here, and you can remind me in a few weeks that I got it right – this UVa. team will not get an invite to the Big Dance. That said, as much as it will be a disappointment considering how well the team had played for a long stretch in 2011-2012, Virginia fans will be able to look back on this team in a few years as the group that proved that coach Tony Bennett was doing the right thing in Charlottesville.

No reason this group should have 19 wins given the deficiencies in the backcourt, the frontcourt, heck, any position on the court not being manned by All-America candidate Mike Scott. The lack of depth, the general lack of talent on the floor at any time outside of Scott and Joe Harris, would doom a lesser group of competitors to also-ran status. Bennett has his kids playing hard – not always playing well, necessarily, but playing hard.

The recent injury to Harris, on the heels of the injury a few weeks back to starting center Assane Sene, will make it hard for the Cavs to build on their successes this season. An early NIT exit will be the consolation, but looking at the kids that Bennett has committed in his 2012 and 2013 recruiting classes, watch out.

Oh, and since I’m making bold calls in this column – UVa.’s is out, and Obama wins re-election in November. That one’s not too hard.


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