Presidents sometimes feel compelled to tell you what they are not. In 1973, President Richard Nixon famously said “I am not a crook.” In 2011, President Obama told a group of editors from Hearst magazines that he is not a golf addict.
According to the Hearst report, the reason President Obama spends so much time unwinding on the links is because security restrictions mean he can’t go out for long walks or go to the car wash. “It’s the only excuse I have to get outside for four hours at a stretch,” he said.
But not true. There’s a paved loop around the Camp David compound (inside the security fencing) that he can walk around every weekend. The loop is about 2 miles long. There are bike trails nearby that his predecessor used more or less every weekend. Truth be told, he can helicopter to secure locations all around the DC area and commune with nature any time he wants, for an entire afternoon.
The reason the president chooses to play golf instead is because he’s a….golf addict. And, while he’s out on the course, he can arrange for one of his playing partners to bring along a fresh pack of Marlboro Reds. And he can smoke, without Michelle finding out and busting his chops about it. It’s a two-fer: he takes care of two addictions with one outing.
And that is as it should be. The problems of the entire world are on his desk, every day, 24/7. The least he ought to be able to do is get out on the golf course, knock the ball around and have a few smokes while he’s at it.