Never having to run for office again has given Mr. Obama a free pass to spend every weekend on the golf course. So far in 2013, he already has passed his 2011 record with a total of 39 rounds of golf, as of today. This includes his whopping 27 holes played in one day at Andrews Air Force Base on Sept. 14.
Mr. Obama’s supporters defend the president’s outings, saying everyone needs a break, or comparing the golf outings to President George W. Bush’s time at his Texas ranch.
But the difference in cutting brush in Texas and Mr. Obama’s form of relaxation is that golf is an elitist pastime that few can afford in expense or time, especially in this prolonged economic downturn.
Also, Mr. Bush stopped playing golf in August 2003 out of respect for the families of servicemen in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Obama has shown no such deference: A comparison of both presidents up to that point in their first terms shows Mr. Obama played three times as much golf as Mr. Bush — 76 rounds to 29 rounds.
The president is fully aware of the optics of his favorite hobby since he always stops the weekly foursome when he is engaged in a budget battle with Congress or nearing an election. Once those moments pass, he goes right back to his nine iron.