President Obama, who ran a campaign that alleged Republicans were waging a “war on women,” refuses to bring women along on his favorite recreational pastime, golf.
Obama has not included a woman in his golf outings in more than two years, choosing instead to bring along male staffers, male politicians and, while vacationing, a regular group of old friends, all of them men.
The last time he brought a woman out onto the golf course was October 17, 2010, when he played with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Since then, he’s been golfing 54 times, but has never brought along a woman.
I’m only aware of one other golf outing Obama has had with a woman during his presidency, a round with chief domestic policy advisor Melody Barnes on October 25, 2009. The White House acknowledged at the time that this was the first time he had golfed with a woman as president.
That makes, as of today, two out of 107 total outings during his presidency.
Obama’s apparent aversion to being accompanied by women on in his golf outings parallels his failure to include women among his most senior advisers. Nearly all of Obama’s most important White House aides are men.
While he usually golfs with junior aides, Obama sometimes does business on the golf course, heading out with senior advisers and politicians like Speaker John Boehner, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Vice President Biden, and others. Just last weekend, Obama golfed with Bill Clinton, Virginia gubernatorial candidate – and Democratic moneyman – Terry McAuliffe, and Trade Representative Ron Kirk.
But women are not included in whatever deals are struck.
The issue is a familiar one. Women’s groups have long opposed men-only golf clubs because they say it denies women access to a major arena in which business is done.