Would you rather have a politician working or playing during his/her time in office? Depends on what he/she would do with that time, right?
Although I’d love for President Obama to be focused on securing America’s vital national interests in foreign policy and individual liberty here at home, his policies have frequently been destructive of those ends. Therefore, a President at play doesn’t sound too bad since more time on the golf course is less time making mischief for the country. Thus I had a hard time getting too upset by the revelations in the NY Times story discussed here by Forbes:
For someone dealing with the world’s weightiest matters, Mr. Obama spends surprising energy perfecting even less consequential pursuits. He has played golf 104 times since becoming president, according to Mark Knoller of CBS News, who monitors his outings, and he asks superior players for tips that have helped lower his scores. He decompresses with card games on Air Force One, but players who do not concentrate risk a reprimand (“You’re not playing, you’re just gambling,” he once told Arun Chaudhary, his former videographer).
His idea of birthday relaxation is competing in an Olympic-style athletic tournament with friends, keeping close score. The 2009 version ended with a bowling event. Guess who won, despite his history of embarrassingly low scores? The president, it turned out, had been practicing in the White House alley.
Kantor’s piece is full of examples of Obama’s odd need to (a) dominate his peers in everything from bowling, cards, golf, basketball, and golf (104 times in his presidency). Bear in mind, Obama doesn’t just robustly compete. The leader of the free world spends many hours practicing these trivial pursuits behind the scenes. [bold in the original]
Too bad that Obama couldn’t play more rounds and frames with regulators, TSA agents, and others in Washington making life more difficult for us all. Then they wouldn’t be focused either! Of course, this isn’t the perfect presidential use of time but maybe it isn’t so awful after all given the alternative.