In another losing battle with Republicans, President Obama and his partner, Democratic Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado, were beaten Monday by Republican Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Saxby Chambliss of Georgia at golf, aided by a hole-in-one Chambliss knocked in on the 11th hole.
Obama, who possibly shouldn’t have been golfing on a work day in the first place, is highly competitive and was no doubt chagrined to be on the losing end of the contest. He lost despite having the home field advantage – the foursome played on his usual course at Joint Base Andrews.
According to a White House official, Obama had the highest handicap of the group and therefore was paired with Udall, who had the lowest. Presumably, the estimation of Obama’s handicap came from Obama.
The official said the group talked mostly about the golf game and not substantive issues. Nevertheless, the White House says the outing was part of Obama’s new effort to build relationships on Capitol Hill, one that has featured meetings, phone calls, and the breaking of bread over dinner.
Some suspect, though, that the “outreach” is also designed to give Obama cover against charges he didn’t do enough to try to build bridges to Capitol Hill should Republicans block him on issues like the budget and immigration. He could then note that he had done all he could as he campaigns against the GOP in the 2014 midterm elections.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney seemed to foreshadow what could eventually be a posture that Obama attempted to be friendly but was rebuffed, asserting the golf game showed the president is “willing to try anything.”