11:10 AM, Dec 30, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
Michelle Cottle makes a pretty strong case here that the president's golf habit is starting to get in the way of his job. Marc Ambinder wrote a ludicrous post over the weekend, now coming in for some much deserved ridicule, titled "Why the President Went Golfing Today." In it Ambinder defended, without any hesitation or hedging, what has now obviously become indefensible. Going golfing while your underlings sort out how many opportunities they missed to stop al Qaeda's Christmas present to America is just bad optics, to say nothing of how it reflects on Obama's leadership style. And the frequency with which Obama is on the golf course is getting a little ridiculous, even relative to his predecessor.
I say all this as someone who knows a thing or two about letting golf interfere with your work. I'm routinely mocked by the boss for taking days off because I've been offered a chance to play at Congressional, or because THE WEEKLY STANDARD golf team (yes, we have one) has an outing. I played six rounds last week on vacation to the point that I came down with some horrible flu, precipitated I think, at least in part, by a little too much exposure to the sun. Golf can become a problem -- very easily. The president, however, has a little more responsibility than I do. Now might be a good time for him to take a few months off. It would probably help his game anyway from what I hear.