Charles Barkley Lobbies for Position in Obama Administration
Charles Barkley uses an extended lull in his approach shot to discuss his hopes of joining an Obama administration in an as-yet unknown capacity.
LAKE TAHOE (Sportsman's Daily Wire Service) — Outspoken basketball legend Charles Barkley briefly considered running as a Republican candidate for Alabama's governorship in the 1998 election. Since that time he’s changed his party affiliation (“I was a Republican until they lost their minds”) and recently came out to endorse the candidacy of Barack Obama.
Now, Barkley is making noises about seeking a position in a hypothetical Obama administration, though his experience in matters of state appears to be slim at best.
“I know people are saying, yo Chuck, you don’t got no experience, whatcha gonna do, play a round with visiting dignitaries like Nelson Mandela or Jay-Z?” said Barkley during a prolonged hitch in his comically bad golf swing. "I know I ain’t no Colin Powell, but I sure as hell ain’t no Brownie neither. Put my behind in charge of FEMA I’d a fortified them levies with some Bush administration ass. Just stack them ole asses up high as the eye can see.”
Barkley was asked what role in a hypothetical Obama administration he thinks he’s best suited for.
“I haven’t got that far,” he explained. “I’ll have to see what works best with my schedule. But I’m thinking something where I don’t have to spend a lot of time in the office or in meetings. Hate meetings. Meet and greets in the Oval Office or a photo opp in the Rose Garden, so long as I get my 18 holes in, no sweat.” Barkley paused. “Can I get back to you on this?”
According to Barkley, the issues that concern him most are improving the nation’s schools and ridding neighborhoods of drugs and crime.
“Definitely. Which is why it’s stupid not to legalize gambling across the board – casinos, regulated floating poker and crap games, sports betting…hell I’d put slots at the deli counter. You take all that money and buy computers for the schools and make the streets safe by beefing up the police and adding community activities, like bingo and a little known African game of chance called burumba – once dropped $350K in six hours. Nasty game, but a good time, if you got $350K to drop and there’s a honey waiting in a Cristal-filled tub back in the room. Oops. Think that just cost me 300 votes in Montgomery County.”
A reporter suggested Barkley become the nation’s first Gambling Czar, given his chance-based approach to urban development and his ability to withstand consistently huge losses at the gaming tables without feeling the need to convene a press conference and announce a brief stint in rehab.
"Gambling Czar. Hmmmm. I like that,” said Barkley, trying it on for size. “Do I have to clear it with Fratello?” (Former NBA coach Mike Fratello is known as the “Czar of the Telestrater,” a moniker given to him by his broadcast partner Marv Albert.)
Ernie Johnson, host of TNT’s Emmy Award-winning show, "Inside the NBA," isn’t convinced that Barkley’ is serious in his stated desire to join the Obama administration – or any administration for that matter.
“I love Chuck, but I wouldn’t take any of this stuff seriously. I mean, one day he wakes up, looks around his 24,000 square foot mansion, hits the links with a foursome that includes guys with names like C. Ellsworth Hunt, and realizes that he can go 30 miles in any direction without seeing anyone that looks even remotely like him. Suddenly it dawns on him: gee, I’m a Republican.” Johnson chuckles and shakes his head. “But let’s give the Chuckster the benefit of the doubt and assume he’s serious, he wants a position in an Obama administration. He’d certainly add comic relief in any meeting he attends, just don’t expect him to attend many, as he’s attended maybe three production meetings in all the years he’s been on the show…and that’s just cause he was ducking a casino he owed money to – even they knew the last place they’d find Chuck is where people gather to do actual work.”
David Axelrod, Obama’s top campaign adviser, welcomed Barkley’s support, though he remained noncommittal as to whether Barkley might have a role in an Obama administration. “I loved Charles as a player and enjoy his commentary on TNT with Ernie and Kenny. I just don’t know that his gambling-based initiatives are consistent with Obama’s vision for America. That said, I can see him as a roving good will ambassador of sorts…though like in his prime you’d need three guys to contain him from saying something really really dumb."
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