"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Monday, June 18, 2012

President Double Bogey

I probably would not mind the President taking a vacation every now and then.   I probably would not mind if the President used some of his vacation time to play golf.   I like golf too.   But, since I've had a "real job" (as a lawyer) and since I've been married and since I've had children, I've cut way back on my golf time.   Even if my job permitted me to play golf once a week or so from spring to fall, the 5-6 hours a round takes -- once you've driven to the course, hit a few practice balls, played a round, decompressed in the "nineteenth hole," said your goodbyes, and driven home -- is simply too much time away from my wife and kids.   I travel enough, I work enough, that it's hard to justify being away from my wife and kids that much on the weekends.  

Now take my responsibilities and time commitments and multiply them by, oh, about a million (for responsibilities) and probably about 1.5-2x for time commitment (because even if you're President, there are only 24 hours in the day), and it seems to me that, if I were President and still had a wife and kids, I don't think I could find the time to play even a round of golf, unless it were a special occasion.   (For me, I will occasionally play at corporate "outings" for charity, for instance, but that's about all.)

So, with all that being said, this shocks me:

President Obama rolled out of his Kenwood, Chicago home Sunday morning and headed to out to play his 100th round of golf since becoming president.

Obama played at the Beverly Country Club with two old pals, Eric Whitaker and Marty Nesbitt, as well as regular golf companion Marvin Nicholson, the White House trip director.

Obama has already played golf eight times this year. He actually is a little off his normal pace – perhaps campaigning is intruding on golf. The president golfed 28 times in 2009, 30 times in 2010, and an incredible 34 times in 2011.

Obama’s golfing takes about five hours, including the motorcades back and forth from the fairways. If one thinks of this as taking up  much of the day – include getting ready to go and cooling off afterward – its fair to say that Obama has spent more than three months of his presidency golfing.

When you think of the amount of time Obama is campaigning and attending posh fundraisers, it's reasonable to ask... when exactly are you doing your job, Mr. President?


Obligatory:   what if George W. Bush had played golf 100 times in his first term?

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