Apparently there is no crisis, no threat to national security – nothing – that will stop President Obama from playing golf.
Four American diplomats slaughtered in Benghazi? He played golf. A terrorist attack in Boston that killed four, including a young child? He still played golf. Holy hell reigning down in Egypt? A vacation to Martha’s Vineyard to play lots of golf.
And on Saturday, literally within minutes of announcing he had decided the U.S. should engage in a military strike in Syria and asked Congress to approve that strike, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden hightailed it out of the Rose Garden to, yes, go play golf.
NBC News’ Carrie Dunn was tweeting on the president’s remarks regarding Syria Saturday afternoon and quoted Obama saying Syria’s chemical attack “is an assault on human dignity. It also presents a serious danger to our national security.”
Not long after, Dunn tweeted:
From the pool: Obama and Biden are now playing golf.
— Carrie Dann (@CarrieNBCNews) August 31, 2013
“They played at nearby Fort Belvoir with regular Obama golfing partner Marvin Nicholson, the White House trip director, and with Nicholson’s brother, Walter Nicholson, rounding out the foursome,” Fox News reported.
On Fox News Sunday, an agitated Chris Wallace asked Sec. of State John Kerry:
Mr. Secretary, what message are we sending to Iran and Hezbollah and North Korea when the president announces he thinks we should take military action, but he’s going to wait nine days for Congress to come back before he takes any action, and then he goes off and plays a round of golf? What message does that send to the rebels on the ground whose lives are in danger and to our enemies who are watching?
It wasn’t so long ago when we had a president with enough human dignity and compassion, forget political savvy, to understand that there comes a time when the commander-in-chief must lead, instill confidence, and at least give the impression of caring that people are dying or will die during military action.
In a May 2008 interview with Politico, then-President George W. Bush told of his personal decision to stop playing golf.
According to the article:
For the first time, Bush revealed a personal way in which he has tried to acknowledge the sacrifice of soldiers and their families.
“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.”
Bush said he made that decision after the August 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, which killed Sergio Vieira de Mello, the top U.N. official in Iraq and the organization’s high commissioner for human rights.
“I remember when de Mello, who was at the U.N., got killed in Baghdad as a result of these murderers taking this good man’s life,” he said. “I was playing golf — I think I was in central Texas — and they pulled me off the golf course and I said, ‘It’s just not worth it anymore to do.’”