MILLER: Obama breaks golf streak to play image politics with shutdown

The government shutdown has cramped President Obama’s golfing addiction. For the first time since early July, the president skipped his weekly outing to the greens.

Mr. Obama spent an unseasonably warm and sunny October weekend indoors, but he did not use the extra time to negotiate with Republicans over the political impasse.


PHOTOS: President Obama's favorite footstool: The famous Resolute desk


Mr. Obama has taken a break from golf only twice of the last 30 weeks and both were to avoid public scrutiny — after the Boston Marathon bombing in April and while touring Africa in June.

The commander in chief has played a total of 35 times so far in 2013.

Since Mr. Obama plays golf on military bases when in Washington, the shutdown does not affect his ability to visit either of his regular courses at Andrews Air Force Base or Fort Beauvoir. Military installations are still running at full funding. (That’s why Camp David is also open for leisure activities.)

The only reason the president broke his golf streak was he knew it would have been politically harmful to be on the links while fencing off the the open-air World War II Memorial from elderly veterans.

Mr. Obama is closing in on a milestone 150 rounds in the less than five years as president. If he starts to negotiate with Republicans over Obamacare, there’s a chance to reopen the government and get in the next three rounds before November.

Otherwise, he’ll have to wait until after everyone is back to work before working on his handicap — his golf one. His political one is never going to improve.

Emily Miller is a senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times and author of “Emily Gets Her Gun” (Regnery, 2013).

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

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