- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 12, 2009

Amazingly enough, CNS News recently revealed that President Obama has gone out and played a round of golf 11 times since taking office.

Nice.

“Despite ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, ongoing violence in Iran, and an economy that Obama has described as the worst since the Great Depression, the president has golfed multiple times in the past several weeks,” notes CNS writer Penny Starr.

“Obama’s golf outings have generated favorable reports from the media, in contrast to his predecessor, President George W. Bush,” she says.

Mr. Bush announced in 2003 that he decided to stop playing golf to show his respect for the men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families. Interesting gesture. And it was either ignored or criticized by the press.

“That’s his idea of sacrifice, to give up golf?” presidential historian Robert Dallek told The Washington Post last year.

Nice.

“Obama golfed on May 25 after he spoke and placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery on Memorial Day. Presidential aides told the media that Obama observed a moment of silence at 3 p.m. while on the links,” Ms. Starr observed.

Quotes of note

“The liberal media would have you believe that President Obama has already ‘rebuilt’ America’s image in the eyes of the world. That our country is now safer and more secure. I’m not buying it.” — Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee.

“What the hell do they think we are, puppets? They’re supposed to stay out of our business.” — Helen Thomas on the Obama administration, to CNSNews.com.

“Gov. Jenny Sanford? It’s got a nice ring to it.” — Larry Kudlow, NationalReview.com

Mitt, Chris, Bob, Meg, etc.

Summertime, and the musing is easy. What better time to mull over Republican prospects for 2012? But the list of contenders is complex and expansive, requiring guidance from those whose forecasts are rooted in numbers and nuance.

Mitt Romney has caught the eye of Fred Barnes, executive editor of The Weekly Standard.

“He is certainly a contender. He is the one Republican who has helped himself in the last six months since the last election. And, look, he has a lot to say. He knows a lot,” Mr. Barnes says.

But the evolving field is not Romney-centric.

“Everything is going to change after the 2010 election when all these new faces will come into the Republican Party, and even the election this fall. If Chris Christie and Bob McDonnell are elected governors of New Jersey and Virginia respectively, they will become big figures, particularly Christie, being elected if he is elected in a populist Democratic state like New Jersey,” Mr. Barnes continues.

“And then look at 2010, California. What if Meg Whitman of eBay becomes governor? She has a tough primary against Steve Poizner, the insurance commissioner. If you have a Republican governor of California, they’re big. And there are others, too. Think [if] Rudy Giuliani runs in New York and is elected governor. That would sure line him up for another race. Or Kay Hutchinson, the senator, who is going to run for governor in Texas. She has a tough primary too against the incumbent governor, but if she wins, that’s a huge thing. So, look, all those names are going to be out there.”

By the numbers

75 percent of Americans say the Constitution guarantees the right of an average citizen to own a gun.

71 percent of Americans say it’s likely that President Obama will seek tougher gun control laws.

43 percent say it’s “very” likely.

57 percent say gun sales are up in the U.S. because of “fear of increased government restrictions on gun ownership.”

23 percent say sales are up because of a fear of increased crime.

21 percent are unsure of the reason.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 adults conducted June 24 and 25.

Days of yore

Congress authorized the Medal of Honor on this day in 1862. Two years later to the day, PresidentLincoln was present at Fort Stevens in Northwest Washington; he witnessed Union forces repel Confederate Lt. Gen. Jubal Early’s army on the outskirts of Washington. A local recognition of that day — the very tasty “Jubal Early Burger,” served at the Woodside Deli in Silver Spring.

“The General is named in the honor of the Confederate general who passed the site of our Silver Spring restaurant in a raid on Washington. Seventeen men of his command are resting in peace less than 350 yards from our front door,” the deli advises.

On this day in 1957, President Eisenhower was the very first president to take a ride in a helicopter, an alternative to the limousine-led entourage. Mr. Eisenhower’s copter of choice during his administration: the Bell UH-13-J “Sioux.”

In the ongoing Watergate saga, John Ehrlichman, a former aide to President Nixon, and three others were convicted on this day in 1974 of conspiring to violate the civil rights of Daniel Ellsberg’s one-time psychiatrist. Or something like that.

Last but not least, score one for the ladies on July 12, 1984. Walter Mondale, the leading Democratic presidential candidate, announced that he had chosen Rep. Geraldine Ferraro of New York as his running mate. The team lost — big time — to President Reagan.

• Contact Jennifer Harper at jharper@washingtontimes.com or 202/636-3085. Follow her at twitter.com/harperbulletin.

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