President Obama Backs the Steelers in the Super Bowl

President Barack Obama says he's pulling for the Pittsburgh Steelers to win the Super Bowl. Obama says other than his hometown Chicago Bears, the Steelers are probably the team closest to his heart. Video by AP
Friday, January 30, 2009

At the end of a photo-op with President Obama after a meeting with his economic team yesterday, the White House pool reporter lobbed a Hail Mary.

"Steelers or Cardinals, sir?"

It was the kind of "who are you rooting for" question that, when put to the president of the United States, usually gets batted down with some noncommittal platitudes.

Yesterday, though, both Obama and Vice President Biden made clear they want Pittsburgh to win the Super Bowl on Sunday.

"I have to say, you know, I wish the Cardinals the best," Obama replied. "You know, Kurt Warner is a great story, and he's closer to my age than anybody else on the field. But I am a longtime Steelers fan."

He went on to explain that Steelers owner Dan Rooney was "an extraordinary supporter" during his presidential campaign. Franco Harris, the Steelers' Hall of Fame running back, and the team's current head coach, Mike Tomlin, also backed his candidacy, Obama said.

"So . . . I wish the best to the Cardinals," the former senator from Illinois continued. "They've been long-suffering. It's a great Cinderella story. But other than the Bears, the Steelers are probably the team that's closest to my heart. All right?"

With that, Biden, who was born in Pennsylvania, chimed in with a laugh: "We agree on that one, too, boss!"

"There you go!" Obama said.

Besides, as a television commentator noted afterward, there are more electoral votes in Pennsylvania than there are in Arizona.

-- William Branigin

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