President George W. Bush, who routinely allowed journalists to accompany him on golf outings early in his presidency, told Politico in May 2008 that he decided to give up the game in August 2003 after a bomb attack on the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad that killed a top U.N. official.
‘I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander-in-chief playing golf,’ Bush said. ‘I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them.’ ’And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong message,’ Bush said.
What is so significant about this is not merely that Mr. Bush understood the optics involved, but that he came to the decision himself. It actually occurred to him that leadership required it. Regardless of what one thinks of Mr. Bush’s accomplishments and faults, he could never be faulted for his work ethic. He rose early, worked late, and took his work with him, commonly reading/studying late into the night. His days commonly began well before 8 AM.
And then there is the current occupant of the White House:
President Obama, fresh from his whirlwind spring break trip to Cuba and Argentina, hit the links for some R&R Saturday, playing his 281st round since becoming president. He was at Andrews for over five hours.
That is slightly more than three quarters of a year of days playing the presidential sport for Obama. The president typically plays for at least four hours, sometimes longer, putting his time at over 1,100 hours golfing, or at least 46 full 24-hour days.
Back in 2014, in Barack Obama: The Hardest Working Man in Politics, when Mr. Obama had played only something more than 175 rounds of golf, I noted that Mr. Obama has what could be charitably described, at best, as a very relaxed work ethic. It would seem that since then, he has found no reason to dedicate more of his precious golf time to his job. The source of this information is the White House, which claims that Mr. Obama is dedicated to being the most transparent administration, like, evah! Most of the daily entries for Mr. Obama’s schedule, even after the fact, read thus:
This is one I was able to find via White House Dossier:
Today’s Obama Schedule
Monday, March 28, 2016
10:30 am || Attends the White House Easter Egg Roll
7:30 pm || Delivers the keynote address at the awards dinner for Syracuse University’s Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting; Washington
One can only hope such a characteristically grueling schedule doesn’t interfere with Mr. Obama’s golfing. How does he fit all of that into 24-hour days?