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Obama Ties Bush on Golf

obama-golf-ties-bushInteresting-if-true fact from Patrick Gavin:  President Obama has already played as many rounds of golf after nine months in office as President George W. Bush did in eight years.

President Barack Obama has only been in office for just over nine months, but he’s already hit the links as much as President Bush did in over two years.

CBS’ Mark Knoller — an unofficial documentarian and statistician of all things White House-related — wrote on his Twitter feed that, “Today – Obama ties Pres. Bush in the number of rounds of golf played in office: 24. Took Bush 2 yrs & 10 months.”

Interesting but irrelevant.  It’s mildly amusing, I suppose, as a retort to the “Watch this drive!” nonsense and general kvetching about how much time Bush spent on leisure activities that he should have instead been devoting to Iraq/Afghanistan/Katrina.   But two sillies don’t make a smart.

The bottom line is that people need down time in order to be effective.  That’s doubly true of leaders.   While it’s possible to overdo it, I’m perfectly happy to have my presidents golfing, horseback riding, brush clearing, or whatever else it is that allows them to blow off steam and get their minds off the job for a couple hours.

I do, however, wish someone would take Obama shopping for some new pants.  First, the mom jeans and now pleated, baggy chinos?  C’mon!

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. “Watch this drive!”

    The problem here wasn’t that he was golfing… it was that right after making a tough pronouncement on international terrorism, he incongruously made that statement. It made him look like a goofball. Sort of disconnected from the statement he had just made.

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  2. JKB says:

    Careful, the First Fashion Icon might be the one who dresses him.

    Oh wait, never mind. If the White House goes after you your blog career will blossom.

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  3. James Joyner says:

    The problem here wasn’t that he was golfing… it was that right after making a tough pronouncement on international terrorism, he incongruously made that statement. It made him look like a goofball.

    It was rather odd. But, apparently, it was customary for him to take a couple of questions from reporters before teeing off. But it wasn’t just that clip; there was a lot of whining about Bush golfing and vacationing which I mostly thought silly given modern communications.

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  4. odograph says:

    I think you missed that golf has more opportunity as a “working recreation” than many. Any idea how many rounds were with high officials of one sort or another?

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  5. Ben says:

    Both the article and the tweet say that it took Bush 43 just over two years to play that many rounds of golf. Not his whole 8 years. Obama is still on an impressive clip, but it’s not as bad as you make it sound.

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  6. James Joyner says:

    Both the article and the tweet say that it took Bush 43 just over two years to play that many rounds of golf. Not his whole 8 years. Obama is still on an impressive clip, but it’s not as bad as you make it sound.

    I’d say 2 years, 10 months is “just under three years” rather than “just over two.” Regardless, that’s apparently all the golf he played in his entire eight year presidency.

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  7. Anthony says:

    The problem isn’t presidents taking some down time, it’s the fact that they spend this time playing a game as dreary as golf.

    They should all play darts. That’s a real game.

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  8. just me says:

    Yeah I was thinking Bush at some point stopped playing golf, probably because playing led to ridiculous criticism-as if the president should be attached to the desk in the oval office with a ball and chain.

    I think given the fact that the president can pretty much go anywhere in the world and still be capable of communicating with his advisors and other staff in the case of a situation, this kind of criticism is ridiculous.

    and honestly-I think the office is probably a pretty stressful one to hold-presidents need and deserve some recreation and down time-just like anyone else. I don’t begrudge any president a few rounds of golf, a vacation, or some other leisure activity.

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  9. muffler says:

    This is a pointless statistic. One person noted that golf is a social event and he can work and talk while playing. He also doesn’t need to go far from the White House. It’s not like deep sea fishing or scuba diving. Obama is human and being active makes one stay healthy.

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  10. Steve Verdon says:

    Yeah, but Obama’s different! Take that!

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  11. Triumph says:

    Yeah I was thinking Bush at some point stopped playing golf, probably because playing led to ridiculous criticism-as if the president should be attached to the desk in the oval office with a ball and chain.

    Bush was pretty clear why he quit:

    For the first time, Bush revealed a personal way in which he has tried to acknowledge the sacrifice of soldiers and their families: He has given up golf.

    “I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf,” he said. “I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal.”

    The fact that Obama basically lives on the links is indicative of the disdain with which he treats the troops.

    Like a typical Dummocrat, all Obama cares about is his own self-satisfaction. If he were a real leader he would give up golf in solidarity with troops.

    His selfishness is disgusting and contemptuous.

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  12. Eric Florack says:

    Interesting but irrelevant. It’s mildly amusing, I suppose, as a retort to the “Watch this drive!” nonsense and general kvetching about how much time Bush spent on leisure activities that he should have instead been devoting to Iraq/Afghanistan/Katrina. But two sillies don’t make a smart.

    These two do, however, point out the double standards applied. Remember when George W Bush gave up gold because his critics thought he should be staying in the white House directing the response to the crisis? I guess that doesn’t apply to the Chosen One. He’s played as much golf in the last nine months as Bush played in nearly three years. And where’s the outcry now, over Obama spending far more time at the course thusfar than Bush ever did? Oh, wait… his caddy is holding up the sign for silence. I guess we shouldn’t say anything, eh?

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  13. Eric Florack says:

    Both the article and the tweet say that it took Bush 43 just over two years to play that many rounds of golf. Not his whole 8 years. Obama is still on an impressive clip, but it’s not as bad as you make it sound.

    The reason Bush’s measurement ends there is because the outcry from the left was so loud, he stopped playing altogether.

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  14. Triumph says:

    The reason Bush’s measurement ends there is because the outcry from the left was so loud, he stopped playing altogether.

    Please, stop the Bush-bashing. Look at my comment above. Bush stopped on his own volition because he wanted to be in “solidarity” with the toops and they families.

    Obama doesn’t give a damn about the troops, which is why he is both escalating his time on the golf course and the number of troops to fight his pointless war in Afghanistan.

    The more he plays golf, the more the military suffers.

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  15. […] Outside The Beltway […]

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  16. Franklin says:

    Remember when George W Bush gave up gold

    No I don’t, but very funny typo, Bithead.

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  17. rkb says:

    I like the chinos …..

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  18. Mike says:

    if golf makes the president not make any additional piss poor decision then i will buy the next round. Obama won the peace prize, why would he have to deal with a war. maybe he could win the nobel prize for medicine and then he would leave that alone as well. Indecision 2012 would be my preferred slogan for both candidates down the road. I hope i don’t sound jaded…

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  19. […] Obama Ties Bush on Golf […]

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  20. Mr. Prosser says:

    “Golf courses and cemeteries, biggest wastes of real estate in the world.” – Al Czervik, Caddy Shack.

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  21. Truthteller says:

    It’s interesting how you can put a positive spin on Obama’s absense from the White House, but had Bush done the same thing while the nation is facing a crisis, just the opposite would be true.
    The fact is that Obama has played as much golf as Bush did in his first two years and 10 months. Then Bush stopped playing golf, seeing that it was inappropriate while we were engaged in war.Obama has been absent from his job playing golf 24 times and attending Democratic fundraisers 28 times. Bush only did six in the same period. Obama is not doing the people’s work.

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  22. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by metafeed: OTB: Obama Ties Bush on Golf http://ow.ly/15Xr0x

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  23. JVB says:

    Wow….hadn’t really thought of it considering Bush stopped playing to silence the very media that can’t get enough of any kind of gas that escapes the President’s gastrointestinal tract. But given the fact the President has made sure to p.ee on anything with the Bush scent…I’m sure this is all part of his mission in life.

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