Obama Golfs with PTI Team

Tony Kornheiser celebrated becoming a senior citizen by playing a round of golf with the president.

Tony Kornheiser celebrated becoming a senior citizen by playing a round of golf with the president.

AP (“Obama’s gift to ESPN’s Kornheiser is game of golf“):

President Barack Obama’s birthday gift to ESPN commentator Tony Kornheiser is a game of golf. With the president.

The White House said Obama teed off Saturday with Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon, co-hosts of the sports network’s “Pardon the Interruption” talk show. Saturday was Kornheiser’s 65th birthday.

Obama spent more than four hours at the golf course at the Army’s Fort Belvoir in Virginia, south of Washington. The president is an avid sports fan and viewer of ESPN programming.

Apparently, they didn’t use a cart.

Scanning the 68 comments thus far at YahooNews, most of the reactions are unhinged. But presidents of the United States have been playing golf since William Howard Taft’s day and getting to hang out with celebrities has long been one of the perks of the job. And, as I’ve noted many times here over the years, it’s a very good thing when our presidents allow themselves some down time; they don’t do it enough.

The one instance where commenters have a modest point is the optics of doing this at Fort Belvoir at a time when civilian employees of the Defense Department are having to absorb pay cuts through furloughs under sequestration. But I’m not sure exactly what the president is supposed to do about that. It takes two to tango and he and the House Republicans are miles apart.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. superdestroyer says:

    The golf course is funded through non-appropriated funds (NAF in the arcane jargon of DOD budgeting) and is basically unaffected by sequester and budget cuts. The real issue is that it is probably cheaper to provide the president security while on a military base than trying to play at a private course.

  2. Tyrell says:

    President Eisenhower played golf usually at least weekly, even practicing on the White House lawn.
    Ike is now regarded as a very good president, leading this country through eight years of perilous times of nuclear threat.

  3. Carl Wicklander says:

    Hmm . . . people who say Obama is evil and intent on destroying America don’t think he’s spending enough time at work . . . being evil and destroying America!