NYT's Maureen Dowd Rips Obama for Golfing Amid Crises

Image: NYT's Maureen Dowd Rips Obama for Golfing Amid Crises (Matthew Healey/UPI/Landov)

Monday, 25 Aug 2014 09:04 AM

By Andrea Billups

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President Barack Obama has been hiding from world debacles and leadership responsibilities on the golf course, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote in a commentary over the weekend, assailing the commander in chief for staying on the greens while life's "hazards" mount.

The column was headlined "The Golf Address" and was a parody of the Gettysburg Address.  "FORE! Score? And seven trillion rounds ago," the column began.

"I know it doesn’t look good to have pictures of me grinning in a golf cart juxtaposed with ones of James Foley’s parents crying, and a distraught David Cameron rushing back from his vacation after only one day, and the Pentagon news conference with Chuck Hagel and Gen. Dempsey on the failed mission to rescue the hostages in Syria," Dowd portrayed the president as saying.

"We’re stuck in the rough, going to war all over again in Iraq and maybe striking Syria, too," she wrote. "Every time Chuck says ISIL is 'beyond anything we’ve ever seen,' I sprout seven more gray hairs. But my cool golf caps cover them. If only I could just play through the rest of my presidency." ISIL is one of the alternate names for the Islamic State.

Her column adds to criticism lobbied against Obama, who continues to golf while critics argue he is detached from problems he should be dealing with on the job — from the civil rights issues in Ferguson to the Ebola outbreak in Africa to the ongoing marauding of the Islamic State.

He has played 192 times in his presidency, according to the website GolfCounter.com, which has dubbed him golfer in chief and given him his own social media hashtag, #golftus. While his Martha's Vineyard vacation ended Sunday, he was expected to log about 40 hours on the links during his time there.

"Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon has mocked Obama and his golfing.

"The president isn't really helping himself by going on vacation. In fact, I saw that President Obama played the eighth round of golf of his vacation today. I mean, he's played so much golf, I guess he's getting pretty good, but he's still not quite at the pro level yet," Fallon said, according to Breitbart News.

Fallon's gag included a photo of golfer Rory McIllroy teeing off and the entire gallery yelling "get in the hole," even as Obama stepped up to tee off the audience had stronger words: "Get back to work… Get back to the White House," Breitbart said.

While the president did return to Washington during his trip for two days of meetings last week, he continued to receive criticism, The Hill reported.

"He spent about a million in taxpayer dollars to fly back from Martha's Vineyard on Air Force One to take a few pictures," Republic National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said, according to The Hill. "Then it was back to vacationing and the golf course."

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