Politics may make strange bedfellows, as the old saw goes, but golf apparently has the same power, given that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and filmmaker Michael Moore share the same gripe about links-addicted commanders-in-chief.
The current front-runner for his party’s nomination to face President Barack Obama in the 2012 election has dedicated a website to raising funds based on what he believes is Obama’s preoccupation with golf to the detriment of the country. The former Massachusetts governor, who in his current iteration is running as a conservative, blasts the First Hacker at every whistle stop and diner along the way to next week’s Iowa primary.
Using a well-worn stump speech, Romney ripped Obama Friday on the occasion, this week, of POTUS’ 90th trip around the greensward since taking office.
“He’s in Hawaii right now. We’re out in the cold and the rain and the wind because we care about America, he’s out there,” Romney said at a rally just days before Iowans gather to cast the first votes for a Republican nominee to face Obama next November. “He just finished his 90th round of golf.”
The left-wing Moore would probably agree with Romney’s sentiment, although with slight tweaks to the message. After all, his “Fahrenheit 9/11” film took George W. Bush to task for playing golf during the Iraq war.
Both men joined a long line of politicians and other observers who have rebuked presidents for tinkering too much with their games. Democrats lambasted President Dwight Eisenhower for his 18-hole obsession, often slapping their knees over the Cold War joke, “Do you mind if the president plays through, the Russians just bombed New York,” according to USA Today.
The publication also noted that Obama had a long way to go to equal Ike’s “nearly 800 rounds during eight years in office.” And despite Eisenhower’s penchant for fairways and greens, Woodrow Wilson apparently is the leader in the clubhouse, having played almost 1,600 rounds in eight years, USA said.
Not everyone’s a critic, though. Back when politics was not so nastily partisan as it is today, President Harry Truman actually defended his successor’s need for downtime on the links.
“To criticize the president…because he plays a game of golf is unfair and picayunish,” USA Today quoted Truman as saying. “He has the same right to relax from the heavy burdens of office as any other man.”WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?