- RNC ‘autopsy’ authors: ‘Tremendous progress’ from a year ago
- Gun control groups turn to private sector to push crackdowns
- Study to test ‘chocolate’ pills for heart health
- Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay arrested for DWI
- Obama, Abbas to meet Monday morning regarding peace talks
- Guinness quits New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade over gay march prohibition
- RNC goes on offensive with ad buys in 14 targeted states
- Saudi Arabia bans 50 ‘blasphemous’ baby names — like Benjamin
- Jack Daniel’s up in arms at Tenn. push to ‘weaken’ whiskey label
- Sen. Murphy: Putin ‘making this up as we go along’
Obama, Boehner set for Saturday golf outing
“There is no game like golf: You go out with three friends, play 18 holes, and return with three enemies.” — Anonymous
Unlike, say, ping-pong with China and wrestling with Iran, golf doesn’t have much of a track record as a sport for bringing longtime adversaries together — which only adds another level of intrigue to Saturday’s long-anticipated round between President Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner.
“I expect it could get interesting out there, like, when do you call a penalty stroke on the other guy or what are the rules for conceding putts,” said Nathan Presnal, general manager and head pro at Lake Presidential Golf Course in Upper Marlboro, Md.
“You tend to want to play golf with your friends, people you know you get along with or want to do business with,” Mr. Presnal said. “It could be a real good exercise in bipartisanship, or it may just tell us what we’re in for for the next few years.”
The Democratic president and the Republican speaker, with Vice President Joseph R. Biden and Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich rounding out the foursome, tee it up Saturday at an undisclosed location. Mr. Obama and Mr. Boehner both admit to being golf addicts, although even ardent Democratic partisans concede the Ohio Republican is the more experienced and accomplished player.
The two men will attempt to bond over golf after Mr. Obama has slammed the House Republican budget and made jokes about Mr. Boehner’s signature tan, and just days after the speaker said Mr. Obama’s justification for the military action in Libya as not “hostilities” doesn’t meet the “straight-face test.”
Like political campaigns ahead of key debate, both camps have been trying to manage expectations for the golf summit, both personally and politically. Neither side is predicting a new budget deal or a new era of good feeling to come out of Saturday’s round.
But, he added, spending a Saturday afternoon alone away from the media throngs and their own advisers “certainly can’t hurt — unless someone wins really big.”
He was iffy, though, on whether the public will know the final score or much else of what the group talks about.
“We’ll see,” he said, though he quipped it would be more likely if Mr. Obama were to win.
Mr. Carney also has said that even though Mr. Obama is competitive, “I have heard no trash-talking from the president on this,” and he ducked a question about whether “Golf Summit” pressure and playing with an big-time smoker like Mr. Boehner could push the president to fall off the wagon and bum a butt.
Mr. Obama, a relatively recent convert to the game, appears to actively shun bringing his office work to the course. His preferred playing partners tend to be lower-level aides who are competent golfers and he favors the utilitarian — and heavily protected — military course at Andrews Air Force Base in Prince George’s County. Mr. Boehner, considered one of the best golfers on Capitol Hill, has long played golf for enjoyment and as a fund-raising tool.
Mr. Presnal, a former professional at the venerable Chevy Chase Country Club just outside Washington, said he could recall old photos of lawmakers and top government officials of both parties posing after a round.
“Maybe [the Obama-Boehner match] could be a opportunity to get back to that,” he said.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Raised in Northern Virginia, David R. Sands received an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He worked as a reporter for several Washington-area business publications before joining The Washington Times.
At The Times, Mr. Sands has covered numerous beats, including international trade, banking, politics ...
- SANDS: A Rocky-like chess bout from the Romantic era
- SANDS: Going old school: Big chess milestones for 2014
- SANDS: If you knew Sochi like chess players knew Sochi
- SANDS: Chess champion Magnus Carlsen finally shows a little imperfection
- SANDS: Carlsen, Aronian set the pace at Zurich Chess Challenge
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By David A. Clarke Jr.
Blame Washington's intelligence failure, not lack of police
- CURL: We overhauled U.S. health care to insure 4.2 million people?
- California gun store owner refuses to hand over customer list
- Bill Maher: God a 'psychotic mass murderer' who 'drowns babies'
- Guinness quits New York's St. Patrick's Day parade over gay march prohibition
- Crimea votes in favor of secession; U.S. rejects
- Obama makes play for Obamacare in March Madness-themed ad
- Firefighters discover church's Bible in Harlem rubble following gas explosion
- Ron Paul: 'Washington does not care about our privacy'
- McCaul offers scenario where missing Malaysian jet lands in hostile country to be use as missile
- College group's diversity event canceled after excluding white people
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014