Bloomberg News

Obama Plans to Show Cameron March Madness During Prime Minister’s Visit

March 09, 2012

President Barack Obama will provide a seasonal U.S. treat for British Prime Minister David Cameron’s official visit next week: March Madness.

Obama and Cameron will attend a first-round game of the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament when the British leader is in the U.S., according to a White House official.

The two leaders will travel to Ohio on March 13 to attend a game at the University of Dayton, the official said. Cameron will be the guest of honor at a White House state dinner on March 14.

The White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the schedule hasn’t been released, said the attendance of the two leaders at the game will emphasize the special relationship between the two nations. Obama made a state visit to the U.K. last May.

The annual National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament, known as March Madness, brings together 68 college basketball teams, culminating in a championship game in New Orleans on April 2.

Obama, an avid basketball player and fan, has made public his picks for the tournament winner every year since taking office and he periodically attends college and professional games. The NCAA tournament draws millions of television viewers.

While the two leaders are in Dayton, first lady Michelle Obama and the prime minister’s wife, Samantha, are scheduled to attend an Olympics-themed event for school children in the Washington area. London will host the 2012 Summer Olympics.

It won’t be the first time a U.S. president has put some distinctly American event on the agenda for a foreign leader. When Japan’s then-Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visited the U.S. in 2006, President George W. Bush took him to tour Graceland, the estate of Elvis Presley in Memphis, Tennessee. Koizumi was a known as a Presley fan.

To contact the reporter on this story: Margaret Talev in Washington at mtalev@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net


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