Friday, July 18, 2014
It’s All About Me
We’ve become accustomed to the ego-centric style of our President, but a December 22nd (2012) article by Daniel Halper, “Obama Uses Funeral Service to Talk About Himself,” clearly illustrates the extent to which he considers himself to be the center of the Universe. Halper reported that “Obama used the funeral for Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye to talk about himself. In the short 1,600 word speech, Obama used the word ‘my’ 21 times, ‘me’ 12 times, and ‘I’ 30 times.” I realize that he won two elections and that he will continue to occupy the White House for another two years; but frankly, he has reached the point where his speeches are so predictable, especially his penchant for lecturing everyone else, that I no longer listen to him. Obama campaigned on bringing people together, something he has never done in his professional life. Instead he has divided us along philosophical lines, separated us, and then tried to realign America’s leadership into a new and different power structure. In a December 26, 2012 article titled, “Obama Golfs for the 90th Time as President,” Keith Koffler noted, “After an hour of hiking, President Obama Monday got down to the serious business at hand, heading out to golf for the second day in his first three days of vacation. He was back on the course at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.” With this game, Obama reached a new milestone, having gone golfing 90 times in less than three years as president. That’s about three months of golf, given that the excursions generally take about five hours, much of the useful portion of the day. “What’s more, it’s the 32nd time he’s been on the links this year (2012), a record for the president. His 32 outings eclipse the 2010 mark of 30 and is far ahead of his 2009 tally of 28 rounds as president…” As of January 3, 2014, Obama had played 160 rounds of golf since taking office. “Aside from a man who appears to be on perpetual vacation, what else has Obama accomplished?” In a December 2011 commentary, the Boston Herald observed about Obama’s interview on T.V.’s 60 Minutes: “It is amazing what ends on the floor of the cutting room. When 60 Minutes interviewed President Obama, they edited him out saying that he is the 4th best President.” “He seems to think that he has accomplished so much that he ranks himself ahead of all the U.S. Presidents except Johnson, FDR and Lincoln.” That means he believes that he is a better leader than George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan? Who knew he was so great? “President Obama is correct that his administration will be noted in the history books, but it won’t be for being one of the greatest. It will be for being an even worse President than Carter and that’s not an easy accomplishment.” “This is more than just a difference of opinion. It’s an example of the extreme narcissism of the man who is currently leading our nation and, unfortunately, may well be recorded as the most divisive leader in our history. America has had 42 presidents since its founding, many of whom had to deal with significant challenges, but my sense is that historians in general will probably consider him to be one of the most ineffective leaders in the nation’s history.” “Rather than bringing people together, he has deliberately attempted to divide them in a series of attacks on those he perceives to be his political opponents during his speaking tours around the country.” If that’s Obama’s measure of greatness, then he may indeed be the fourth greatest president, but my sense is that most Americans will come to see it differently. “Divide and conquer may be the best strategy in war, but it is certainly the wrong way to unify the nation and gain the support he needs for his policies and programs.” President Obama’s approval ratings may be stuck in a sand trap, but that has not deterred him from sticking to his weekly round of golf. After teeing off Saturday at the private course in Florida where the movie “Caddyshack” was filmed, Mr. Obama hit the milestone number of 150 golf rounds in less than five years in the White House. The Secret Service loaded Mr. Obama’s golf bag emblazoned with the presidential seal into the motorcade Saturday morning to head to the private Grande Oaks Golf Club in Davie. Sporting a blue polo shirt, tan slacks and a cap, Mr. Obama spent five hours on the private course with former NBA star Alonzo Mourning, friend Cyrus Walker and former U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. Mr. Obama wasn’t much of a golfer before he ran for president. His regularity on the greens started April 26, 2009. He played 27 times that first year in office, including seven rounds during his vacations on Martha’s Vineyard and Hawaii. In his second year as president, Mr. Obama played a little more, 31 rounds. He included a woman for only the second time when Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius joined on Oct. 10, 2010. Perhaps time on the links gave them time to discuss all the people they knew who would lose their insurance when Obamacare was implemented. Mrs. Sebelius also joined the president on the golf course on May 18. After 58 rounds in 19 months, Mr. Obama’s golf game improved. At the private Mid Pacific Country Club in Kailua, Hawaii, on Dec. 28, 2010, the club’s golf pro, Mark Sousa, remarked to reporters that the president’s “swing looks a lot better this year.” The president played even more in his third year in office — 34 rounds. Throughout his presidency, he has most frequently used courses at nearby Andrews Air Force Base and Fort Belvoir. White House trip director Marvin Nicholson, who has an eight handicap according to Golf Digest, plays with the president almost every week. The only times Mr. Nicholson is not on the course with the commander in chief is during the Christmas vacations in Hawaii. Vice President Joseph R. Biden, who had a handicap of 6.3 in 2011, according to Golf Digest, has been invited to tag along with his boss just six times in five years. (The golf magazine estimated Mr. Obama’s handicap at 17 two years ago. ) Other politicians who have played with Mr. Obama during his presidency include House Speaker John A. Boehner, former President Bill Clinton (twice), New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Virginia Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe. Mr. Obama put aside his weekly golf outings several times while running for re-election in 2012. His annual total fell to 19 rounds, seven of which were in the two months after he won a second term. Never having to run for office again has given Mr. Obama a free pass to spend every weekend on the golf course. In 2013 he had already passed his 2011 record with a total of 39 rounds of golf. This includes his whopping 27 holes played in one day at Andrews Air Force Base on Sept. 14. © 2014 Harris R. Sherline, All Rights Reserved
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