The NY Times delivers a hard-hitting piece covering the key topic of the sequester - what will Obama do to relax?
Amid Cuts, Does a President Dare Tee Off?
WASHINGTON — Fair or not, the extracurricular lives of American presidents are often measured by how they compare with the everyday pursuits of the people they lead.
And so as the nation’s federal workers and others prepare to tighten their belts amid budget cuts, reduced overtime and furloughs, it is inevitable that someone would ask the question about President Obama and golf.
It came this week from, among others, Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker and Republican presidential candidate, who expressed outrage that the White House had canceled daily tours of 1600 Pennsylvania at the behest of the Secret Service, which said its officers were needed more elsewhere.
“Canceling White House tours is childish and dishonest,” Mr. Gingrich said on Twitter, citing a recent golf vacation the president took to the Floridian Yacht and Golf Club resort with a handful of friends and his Secret Service entourage. “The golf weekend in Florida cost enough to keep the White House open for months.”
Some budget background with a question I can't answer:
And what about the golf that Mr. Obama frequently plays at the nearby Joint Base Andrews?
Mr. Fleischer [Ari Fleischer of Bush fame] pointed out that the Pentagon’s leaders have warned that the budget cuts will have a serious impact on the readiness of the nation’s military. “What does it say about a sequester if a military golf course can stay open during it?” he said.
Hmm, what are the national security implications of having a lot of tense generals around? Troubling...
Mr. Shear concludes with the faux reporting:
Such is the life of a modern president and his family. The first President Bush was mocked as out of touch when he was seen on a speedboat in Kennebunkport, Maine, during an economic downturn. President Bill Clinton hobnobbed with Hollywood glitterati and took heat for it.
And like Mr. Obama, the second President Bush was criticized for his frequent golf outings, which sometimes made him seem disconnected from the grim task of leading a nation in war.
I don't think the second Bush was criticized for long - he played his last Presidential round in August (or October!) of 2003 as an expression of solidarity with the soldiers. Well, if the sequester drags on for six months maybe Obama will give up golf.