Thursday, August 28, 2014
The New York Times Tees Off on President Obama, And So Should Florida State
The Presidency of the United States is a stressful job. Presidents need to relax. President Obama loves playing golf. Presidents need to decompress. President Obama likes to fund raise. Presidents need to clear their thoughts. President Obama likes to vacation. The President has his priorities. President Obama has mastered the art of combining all three at once – a trifecta with a three iron. What President Obama does not like to do is get involved with the nitty gritty of governing. He’s a big picture guy – leave the details to others. He has his priorities. The New York Times and other media outlets have publicly ignored to date his jaunts, rounds, and fundraisers. Thus, if he was at a dedication for Ground Zero, followed by two fundraisers on the Upper East Side, only the dedication ceremony received coverage. That changed last week with the beheading of James Foley, the kidnapped reporter. President Obama publicly delivered a statement of outrage, and then immediately skedaddled to the Farm Neck Golf Course for a 1:00pm round of golf with Alonzo Mourning. The President spent almost the whole afternoon on the course. The President knows his priorities. The media was incensed at the President’s seemingly callous behavior. James Foley was not a “no one.” He was a reporter. ISIS beheaded a fellow member of the Fourth Estate and the President treated it as business as usual. That is part of the problem. It is business as usual for the President because the media had never called him out on his schedule until this one time – almost six years into his presidency. Maureen Dowd, the New York Times great and sometimes acerbic columnist, savaged him Sunday on the Presidential golfing. She entitled her column “The Golf Address,” patterned after President Lincoln’s great Gettysburg Address. The column starts “Fore, score ….” She is a weather vane of the New York Times and of the eastern establishment. He spent two weeks on Martha’s Vineyard. Nine days were on the links. Indeed, he was golfing 30 minutes after landing on the Vineyard. The president knows his priorities. He took two days off from the Vineyard to return to D.C. for a bachelor’s party and fundraiser. The President’s golfing escapades are costly to taxpayers – not in the green fees, but in the transportation costs of the President entourage to the world’s golf courses. Air Force One has seen more golf courses than most Americans. Florida State Seminoles won the national football title last year. The winning teams in many sports traditionally get a meet and great visit to the White House to commemorate their success. Not Florida State! The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the President’s schedule did not have a window of opportunity to salute the Seminoles. The President has priorities: fundraisers, golfing, fund, vacation, foreign jaunts – hundreds and hundreds of days and nights. If he can’t squeeze in the time to govern, then how should we expect him to salute Florida State? The Seminoles should have proposed a date on or back from a golf course in Key West – a date which would allow the President to host a fundraiser at the clubhouse on a Tallahassee golf course.