President Obama has not played golf in more than two and half months, an indication the White House and the Obama campaign have determined that Obama’s golf is a political liability that had to come to a temporary halt.
Obama last played golf on his birthday, August 4. The 81 days that have elapsed since then easily represent the longest time he’s gone as president without playing while the weather is warm.
It’s unlikely that Obama’s absence from the fairways is due solely to the time consuming demands of campaigning and being president.
The presidency itself is a demanding job, and yet Obama has found time to play golf 104 times since Inauguration Day. Defenders of Obama’s golf say it relaxes him and makes him a more effective president, which should be true for a candidate as well.
What’s more, Obama has scaled back on his work as president – he’s barely been dealing with Congress, for example – to accomodate his increased campaigning.
There were signs the Romney campaign was ready to make an issue out of Obama’s golf.
In April, Romney had this to say:
I must admit, I scratch my head at the capacity of the president to take four hours off on such a regular basis to go golfing. I would think you could kind of suck it up for four years particularly when the American people are out of work.
The Republican National Committee released a graphic in July noting Obama’s record during the past six months of “10 golf trips, 106 fundraisers, and 0 Jobs Council meetings.”
So the Obama team appears to have decided to try to take the issue off the table by removing Obama from the golf course. But win or lose, the president will no doubt resume golfing with a vengeance when he takes his annual Hawaii vacation at the end of the year.