President Barack Obama took his charm offensive to the links Monday, heading out for a round of golf with Republican Sens. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and Bob Corker of Tennessee, as well as Democrat Mark Udall of Colorado.
Today’s game is the latest example of Obama’s “charm offensive,” an ongoing effort to reach out to Republican lawmakers and dispel the perception that the President is disdainful of Congress.
“He’s willing to try anything,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday. “And whether it’s a conversation on the phone or a meeting in the Oval Office or dinner in a restaurant or dinner in the residence, he’s going to have the same kinds of conversations.”
While the President is an avid golf fan — he has played 121 rounds during his presidency, according to CBS News’ Mark Knoller — he rarely invites members of Congress to join him. The few times he has hit the links with Republicans — including his highly-publicized game with House Speaker John Boehner – have resulted in little more than photo-ops.
Still, today’s game appears to have gotten off to a strong start. According to Knoller, the press pool saw Obama put his arm around Corker and then share his golf cart with Chambliss.
And of course it doesn’t hurt that Corker, Udall, and Chambliss had three of the best handicaps in the Senate, according to Golf Digest’s 2011 political rankings.
Here are some photos from today’s bipartisan outing:
And here’s Obama and Corker looking surprisingly chummy:
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