June 23, 2009
Media Cheer Obama's Golf Outings; Criticized Republicans' Trips to Course contrasts the press' fawning over Obama's golf hobby to Bush's.
The original article quoted, "Just the sport for a leader most driven," is sickeningly praiseworthy. Bush is a golfer too, but I don't remember him ever being praised with these compliments:
Yet nothing is without deeper meaning where the presidency is concerned. The golfer in chief's approach to the game is subject to analysis in psychological and political contexts.
To some, Obama's frequent outings reflect a cool self-confidence. "Given all the things that are going on in the world and with the economy," says sports psychologist Bob Rotella, "you'd think he wouldn't be caught anywhere near the golf course. ... To some degree it says: 'I'm not going to worry about what people say about me. I'm going to do my job, and I'm going to play, too.' "
Patience, persistence and the ability to self-critique -- qualities that also serve presidents well -- are crucial in golf.
Presidential recreation plays a role in overall image management. As a basketball guy and golfer, Obama is able to demonstrate versatility and broaden his constituency. It shows he's attracted to both fast-paced team play and a painstakingly slow individual endeavor. It also reflects his crossover appeal in terms of race and class.
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According to The Washington Post,
Obama's predecessor said he quit golfing just as the Iraqi insurgency began to escalate in August 2003. "I don't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf," George W. Bush told interviewers in 2008. "I think, you know, playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal."
Whereas Obama, the cOOlest man on Earth, doesn't let a mere war shake up his rOutine:
He's hit the course five times since late April -- rushing out to the links on Sunday afternoon just 90 minutes after returning to the White House from his overseas trip.
Such firmness of spirit is unknown to Bushaitan. Be like Barack!
Posted by: kevin at June 23, 2009 05:27 PM (2eQQr)
Says sportswriting legend Dan Jenkins, who's seen a lot of golf in his time: "I certainly don't want my president to be a good golfer. It takes too much time and practice to be any good -- it's a very hard game to play consistently well. I think there are better things he could be doing."
What would Bunker say?
(PS: Is anyone else bugged by the little SNL icon at standard.net? It makes me think of Saturday Night Live, though there's nothing funny about this story or the site.)
Posted by: Amritas at June 23, 2009 05:34 PM (2eQQr)
I'm not really into O-bashing because I think it makes us seem as bad as the other side. But....here is what I found really disturbing about the article:
"Obama golfed on May 25 after he spoke and placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery on Memorial Day. Presidential aides told the media that Obama observed a moment of silence at 3 p.m. while on the links."
If I were one of the POTUS advisers I would have made damn sure that there was an all day schedule of events including military members and their families on Memorial Day. If he has to play golf then he should have included some soldiers in his outing.
Not saying he doesn't have a right to play a nice game every once in a while, but it seems like he does it an awful lot. I've played, 18 holes take a long time. He is fiddling while Rome burns.
Posted by: Mare at June 24, 2009 07:46 AM (HUa8I)
(It may not have been "his idea". He may have given up in response to public demands. Perhaps the same public offended by Bush golfing doesn't mind Obama golfing.)
Posted by: Amritas at June 24, 2009 03:56 PM (2eQQr)
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