Well, it’s a new record.
President Obama last year played golf 56 times, easily bulldozing his previous marking, set just last year, of 46 times in a year and belying claims that he needs lots of golf to relax.
This year’s total is about 28 more outings than he averaged annually during his first term, when the pressure must have really been on an inexperienced new president facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
He played only 19 times during 2012, when he was juggling the presidency and a reelection campaign. Somehow, he made it through with minimal attention to his “relaxation” needs.
The fact is that Obama is now safely reelected and feels more secure messing around on the golf course than he did when he had to face voters. Sure, it may relax him, but he clearly plays because he likes it and is unconcerned about it looks for a the self-proclaimed battler for income equality to be striding lush greens, even as millions have suffered under his lackluster economy.
Critics have noted that he seems more and more uninterested in his job, paying even less attention than he had before. This seems to be reflected in the number of excursions, which clock in at about four to five hours, he is taking to the fairways.
And, methinks he smokes on the golf course, with his friends and low-level staffers sworn to silence. Really, that’s just a guess. But it might explain some of the obsession.
On Janaury 2, before departing Hawaii, he got in one more round, the ninth of his vacation and his first of 2015, bringing his total rounds as president to 214.