by Joe Concha
Like Democrats and many Republicans alike, I’ve defended the president regarding the vacations or golf excursions he has chosen to take during his tenure.
Obvious statement here, but it’s a stressful, intense, non-stop job. Just look at the way every president ages so quickly upon entering the office. Downtime and reflection is a must, and as a not-so-great southpaw golfer myself (4-5 times per year), it can be a cathartic, relaxing experience to recharge the batteries (when hitting it straight, anyway).
As for playing too often, Mr. Obama has played 190 rounds as president, which sounds like a lot until considering Dwight Eisenhower racked up 800 rounds and Woodrow Wilson somehow got in a reported 1,200 (really, how is that even mathematically possible?). It should also be noted that the current president has also taken less vacation to this point than his predecessor, George W. Bush.
However, for the president to play today — of all days — less than 24 hours removed from the horrific, savage, unspeakable beheading of American journalist James Foley, it’s becoming impossible to defend Obama on this point now. The president condemned ISIS as any leader would, but no more than 15 minutes later he was warming up at the first hole.
Of course, the common argument seen on social media against those saying the president should have put the wrenches away out of respect to Mr. Foley and his family basically goes something like this: “What do you want him to do?” followed by some variation of everything from asking if the commander-in-chief should fly to Mosul to personally fight ISIS to stating the Oval Office is a mobile entity and therefore doesn’t preclude a president from doing the job, even from a sand trap.
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