As the House moved Saturday toward passing legislation that will likely result in a government shutdown, President Obama excused himself to play his customary Saturday golf, a round that set a record for most golf outings in a year since he became president.
It is perhaps emblematic of his declining influence on Capitol Hill that Obama chose not to work to affect the outcome of one of the most consequential pieces of legislation in years and instead engaged in his favorite recreational activity.
The House bill would maintain government funding only if Obamacare is delayed a year, setting up a likely government shutdown Monday at Midnight if as expected the Senate fails to agree. The White House has said Obama would veto the bill, which passed early Sunday.
Though the first year of a president’s second term is the most crucial for getting things done before lame duck status starts to set in, Obama as of Saturday has played golf golf 35 times in 2013, eclipsing the previous mark of 34 he set in 2011. And there’s still plenty of golf weather left in Washington. Meanwhile, he may well hit the links several times more once he gets to Hawaii for the Christmas holiday.
Last year, with an election to be won, Obama only played 19 times. He golfed 28 times in 2009 and 30 times in 2010.
Obama made no public remarks Saturday, leaving it to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney to issue a statement on the House bill while the White House released Obama’s his pre-recorded weekly address, which discussed his opposition to the House measure.