Skip to comments.Should Obama be playing golf during crisis?
Posted on 03/25/2011 6:57:07 PM PDT by Libloather
Should Obama be playing golf during crisis?
By Sam Weinman
Friday, March 25, 2011
It should come as little surprise that President Barack Obama's golf passion has come under increasing fire as so many world crises around him have unfolded.
Photos of Obama on the links have been easy fodder for the president's critics in the quieter times of his administration (not that he's had many of those); and now with everywhere from Libya to Japan in states of disarray, it seems the only palatable images of a president are the ones of him deep in thought at his desk, not crouching over an 8-foot putt.
John Dickerson argues otherwise in a thoughtful essay on Slate.com, acknowledging that while the President's golf habit is an inevitable target, it's actually irrelevant when judging his ability to lead.
"Golf jokes are not only intellectually lazy, but like teleprompter jokes, they encourage the audience to be lazy, too," Dickerson writes. "No one has to bother thinking about what a president actually does.
"(Newt) Gingrich hopes that golf will become a symbol for a vast catalog of problems with Obama. Every time you see Obama golf, Gingrich wants you get enraged. If things really work out for Republicans, golf will start coming up in David Axelrod's focus groups, and maybe Obama's advisers will have to suggest to the President that he stop playing."
Dickerson hopes the President and his advisers resist the urge to listen, if only because golf can be a necessary diversion when the tasks before a president risk overwhelming him.
"The golf course is one of the few places a president can escape the pressures and physical limitations of the office. George W. Bush was smart enough to have a ranch that allowed him to get out from under the scrutiny of the press. He was inside a perimeter, so the Secret Service could back off a little. You don't have to like golf to recognize that being able to walk in relative freedom and hang out with friends is an obvious pleasure and escape. The more tightly someone is confined, the more necessary it is to escape. One of the great problems for any president is a loss of perspective. A distraction, even for a moment, from the constant and attention-shredding duties of the day is one way to gain perspective."
As Dickerson and others have noted, this is hardly a new balancing act for a Commander-in-Chief. When George W. Bush revealed he was giving up golf as a gesture of sacrifice toward the troops in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, he was lauded in some corners for maintaining proper perspective. Others, including Golf World's Bill Fields, said it was a misplaced gesture.
"I couldn't care less whether a President chops wood or plays Chopin in his free time. If he happens to enjoy golf, hail to the chief for that, multiple mulligans and all (Gerald Ford seems to have been the presidential exception in not utilizing breakfast balls). I want a president to have his eye on the ball and keep his head down when he is in the Oval Office," Fields wrote in 2008. "Whether George W. Bush played golf or not throughout his presidency while his war raged--CBS News says his last round was nearly two months after the round he cited, by the way--doesn't matter. Golf is not the problem."
That idiot shouldn’t be president during a crisis.
As a country, we’re better off when he’s playing golf, rather than ‘playing President’.....
That idiot shouldnt be president.
I fixed it for you.
If the only thing you have to criticize obama for is playing golf, then you're not paying attention.
After the 2012 elections he will be able to spend all his time on the links ... wait, he already does!
ZeroBama is the first unqualified idiot this country has as president. And he IS a communist and anti-american liar.
His complete lack of leadership ability is a pretty good indicator for judging his ability to lead. He can't even lead his own meetings with his senior advisors. Valerie Jarrett does that for him while he sits still not daring to say anything.
Obama’s advisers will have to suggest to the President that he stop playing.”
Keep the Prozac and the booze handy
Keep lots of ciggies onhand too...
Thank you. You've connect most of the dots - that's the point - it portrays laziness.
Try holding your hand in that position. It's not comfortable...
Correct me if I’m wrong (this is FR, after all), but didn’t W mostly quit golf when he was criticized for golfing during an emergency?
And he was constantly flamed whenever he took even two days off. “ANOTHER weekend at Camp David for Mr. Bush, while the price of gas approaches TWO dollars!”
I want him to play 36 holes a day every day. The more time he spends on the links, the less damage he can do the country.
..with that swing and those cargo pants, he's better off not playing at all.
Is this a trick question? Many people think James Buchanan was the worst President of them all. In addition to destroying the United States, Obama wants to prove Buchanan didn't know the first thing about earning disrespect.
He should be relieved of his duties so he can concentrate on his golf, NCAA brackets and eating ice cream.
Obama thinks to himself, Libya, Japan, US economy, Egypt.
He then answers, "Fore!"