North Texas Daily

Swing and a miss

Swing and a miss

March 07
17:59 2013

Being the commander in chief sounds like a stressful job. Half the country usually hates you at any given moment, not to mention the fact that your house and your office are in the same building.

So how do you relax? John F. Kennedy loved sailing, Bill Clinton had his saxophone, and George W. Bush cleared brush on his ranch.

But there’s one form of leisure nearly every president of the modern era tried at least once, and that’s golf. President Barack Obama is no exception: he’s played more than 115 rounds since first taking office.

President Woodrow Wilson played more than 1,000 rounds of golf. He loved the game, but admitted that he wasn’t very good.

Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert clearly isn’t a fan. He filed an amendment this week intended to prevent the president from golfing again until his administration reopens the White House for public tours.

These tours were canceled to save money after the sequester budget cuts went into effect last week.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower liked golf so much he had a putting green installed on the White House lawn. He played more than 800 rounds as president.

Rep. Gohmert’s proposal was shot down almost immediately, but we’re still interested  in the frequent criticism of the president’s golfing habits. Even Mitt Romney ripped on President Obama for playing too much during the 2012 campaign, so what’s the big deal?

For presidents, golf isn’t just a game: they often play with other political figures, using the casual setting to discuss policy, win votes and maybe even gain the respect of the opposition.

President George W. Bush only played 24 rounds in eight years as president. He likes the game, but decided not to play while the country was at war.

If there’s one thing American politics needs more of right now, it’s respect, so we’re going to give the president a mulligan on this one. Maybe he should take Rep. Gohmert out for a few rounds.

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