Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Golf: One hole for the press pool, and WH promptly shoos them away

After a couple of Golf outings in which the President deliberately skipped some holes to avoid TV cameras and photographers, Mr. Obama apparently came to the conclusion that, in his attempts to avoid unfavorable press, he was actually doing more harm, than good, to his public image and persona.

Hence, on Tuesday, the President begrudgingly permitted members of the White House Press pool to snap some photographs of him on the Golf course, at least for a short while, which afforded them with barely enough time to see him play one hole:

The Politico’s Carrie Budoff Brown reported via the Telegraph -UK:
The pool was ushered onto the fairway of first hole, where the presidential party had already reached the putting green. The pool was kept several hundred feet away, well outside shouting distance.

The pool was, however, able to see the president putting moves, albeit from a distance.

From our vantage point, this is the play by play: He stepped up to his ball, which was several feet from the hole, and made two practice strokes. He missed the hole on his first putt, but got it close. He then tried to tap it in, but missed again. He appeared to pick up the ball to let the others in his party play through as he watched.
The Telegraph-UK leaves out the next paragraph in Brown's report:
The pool was promptly moved off the course while the president walked towards a knot of golf carts, which were presumably headed to the second hole.
Likewise, the New York Daily News reported:
The commander-in-chief... muffed the putt on the first hole - although he did get close. And when Obama went to tap it in, he missed that too. The pool reporter watching Obama struggle on the green said the President "appeared to pick up the ball to let the others in his party play through as he watched." Then Obama strolled over with his party to the waiting golf carts and headed for the second hole at the Farm Neck Golf Course in Oak Bluffs. They were still on the links when the 5.9-magnitude earthquake that shook the East Coast hit... Obama was seen taking an urgent cell phone call shortly afterward.

Then Obama resumed playing, but out of sight of reporters.
So, apparently the President, out of the kindness of his heart [and, of course, to avoid criticism], permitted the press pool to watch him play one hole of Golf. However, after this extremely brief encounter with the Golfer-in-Chief, the reporters were "promptly moved off the course", where, I assume, they were forced to join others in the media, who clandestinely set up their cameras either across the street from the Golf course or behind some hidden brush.

Now, how many Americans have had the privilege to see the President play Golf in person? Not too many, right? The White House press pool, on the other hand, had the distinct honor of seeing the President play [almost] an entire hole of Golf! And, for that privilege and badge of honor, they should thank not only the White House, but also their lucky stars.

And, for those of you who've never seen the President play Golf, here's your opportunity, via a reporter who stood across the street and videotaped the Golfer-in-Chief.