WH: Hey, Obama golfing in Key Largo during this crisis is the same as if he were in DC, only warmer

posted at 12:31 pm on March 9, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

The international political temperature surrounding Ukraine and the Crimean Peninsula is going up, not down, and tensions are running high. There are, no doubt, phone calls flashing back and forth across the globe and hasty air trips being arranged, altered or scrapped at the last minute. Clearly, this is the time for the Leader of the Free World to go to… Key Largo. Let’s face it… the weather in DC has been absolutely dismal and real Spring weather is still a ways off. What’s a golf loving world leader to do?

But fear not, campers. According to the White House staff, this is business as usual.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest defended President Obama’s weekend vacation in Key Largo, despite the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, arguing Obama would be able to monitor events from Florida.

“What the president will be doing this weekend in Florida is essentially what the president would be doing back at the White House. It’s just that the weather will be a little warmer,” Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One.

“The president is looking forward to spending some time with his wife and daughters, who are traveling down to Florida as well,” he continued. “There are some recreational amenities on the property, including workout facilities, tennis courts, a couple of golf courses.

“If there is an opportunity for the president to enjoy some of those amenities, then he’ll do that. What he will do, and what he is looking forward to doing, is getting a little downtime in the warm weather with his wife and daughters.”

On the one hand, this is really just a question of optics. Presidents taking vacations – even in times of war – are hardly unknown. George W. Bush spent so much time at “the Western White House” that it became the stuff of legend on Saturday Night Live. And the argument that Bush’s staff used then is still true today if we’re to be honest about it. The entire staff and all of their communications gear travels with the President, so aside from being physically present to meet with Congress, there isn’t all that much he can’t do from Florida that he could in Washington.

But at this particular moment in history, the optics question may loom a bit larger than it would otherwise. Krauthammer is only one of many observers to recently point out that Vladimir Putin’s plans my be emboldened by a sense that the American President is simply weakened and does not pose any real threat to his agenda.

Can Putin be faulted for believing that if he bites off Crimea and threatens Kiev, Obama’s response will be minimal and his ability to lead the Europeans even less so?

Would Putin have lunged for Ukraine if he didn’t have such a clueless adversary? No one can say for sure. But it certainly made Putin’s decision easier.

The President of the United States is always busy and the world is rarely – if ever – completely at rest, so there will always be something going on when they go on vacation. But in this particular case, the optics of how the White House continues to respond may be more than just window dressing. It might be having a continuing effect on the decisions the Russians make and undermine our efforts and those of Europe to keep a lid on this unfolding disaster.

But if nothing else, Obama can finally work on his short game. And that should come as some relief, as he currently doesn’t seem to much of a long one in mind.


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Pathetic media allows pathetic president to do practically anything he prefers to do at the time.

At this point …

hawkdriver on March 9, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Gaahhh, cannot wait until this jackass is gone…

OmahaConservative on March 9, 2014 at 12:35 PM

I’d rather that he stay there.

22044 on March 9, 2014 at 12:36 PM

If there is an opportunity for the president to enjoy some of those amenities, then he’ll do that.

Damn, its good to be preznit.

tominsd on March 9, 2014 at 12:37 PM

The President of the United States is always busy and the world is rarely – if ever – completely at rest, so there will always be something going on when they go on vacation. But in this particular case, the optics of how the White House continues to respond may be more than just window dressing. It might be having a continuing effect on the decisions the Russians make and undermine our efforts and those of Europe to keep a lid on this unfolding disaster.

Dowd seems to think he’s doing just the right amount of … stuff.

hawkdriver on March 9, 2014 at 12:37 PM

I never have been able to get excited about a president staying at the White House considering today’s technology. But “business as usual” is probably better for all of us, no red lines to be drawn on the golf course.

Cindy Munford on March 9, 2014 at 12:40 PM

so his family is again taking a totally separate flight costing double what it needs to cost.
if he liked his family that much they would fly together, they seldom do.

dmacleo on March 9, 2014 at 12:41 PM

“What the president will be doing this weekend in Florida is essentially what the president would be doing back at the White House.

Goofing off.

fogw on March 9, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Crisis, schmisis, FOREEEE!

jukin3 on March 9, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Being president is really great. You can play all day during and international crises and your paid flunkies will cover your butt at all costs. Yes indeed, it’s the only job to have.

rplat on March 9, 2014 at 12:42 PM

so his family is again taking a totally separate flight costing double what it needs to cost.
if he liked his family that much they would fly together, they seldom do.

dmacleo on March 9, 2014 at 12:41 PM

He’d rather fly with his older white daddy…

OmahaConservative on March 9, 2014 at 12:43 PM

Lame attempt at a Bush western Whtie House comparison.

Ben Hur on March 9, 2014 at 12:47 PM

and what he is looking forward to doing, is getting a little downtime in the warm weather with his wife and daughters.”

Presidentin’s Giving inane, meaningless speeches is Hard.

BigWyo on March 9, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Then why bother being at the white house at all? If he is in constant contact with the world (which he is) then just go wherever you want. Permanent vacation.

rightside on March 9, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Nothing to see here. Just King Barack and his usual method of crisis management. “If I don’t view it as a problem, it ceases to be ‘a problem’. Ergo, ‘problem solved’.”

GarandFan on March 9, 2014 at 12:51 PM

“What the president will be doing this weekend in Florida is essentially what the president would be doing back at the White House

…putting into a cup…in the oval office?

KOOLAID2 on March 9, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Russia invades Ukraine and the President of the most important country (for now, anyway) can’t be bothered to postpone his vacation? I don’t care that he can give orders and make calls from anywhere. It just plain looks bad for the President of the United States to go on vacation when this has just started. For people who claim to care about image and what the world thinks, they sure do a bad job of getting the easy things right.

DisneyFan on March 8, 2014 at 4:12 PM

My comment from the headlines post yesterday. The pass that the press and many Americans give this man is infuriating.

DisneyFan on March 9, 2014 at 12:56 PM

I’m sure the golf optic is fine for the Ukraine crisis. It was ok during the funeral of the President of Poland, mourning the US Ambassador killed in Benghazi, and other such auspicious occasions.

What really kind of bothers me is the fact that the Obama’s never go home.

kringeesmom on March 9, 2014 at 12:58 PM

What’s the matter, preezy? Isn’t there enough gorebull warming in DC? The world is heating up–not temperature-wise– and you have run away…again. I guess that ValJar is handling issues at the WH (again), eh?

onlineanalyst on March 9, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Anyone care to guess what the secret service agents that are assigned to protect Preezy Choomy really think of this ass clown ? They know he does nothing all day except watch ESPN , skip briefings, and goof off.
They watch him and his grifter wife debase this country on a daily basis. At least when he is on one of his many vacations Barry no longer has to continue the charade that he is working. I’m sure the agents are thankful for that.

DeweyWins on March 9, 2014 at 1:01 PM

But at this particular moment in history, the optics question may loom a bit larger than it would otherwise.

Surely some adviser has brought that up to him. Unless he’s made it abundantly clear not to bring such matters up with him. At best that makes him a selfish egoistical spoiled brat.

Krauthammer is only one of many observers to recently point out that Vladimir Putin’s plans my be emboldened by a sense that the American President is simply weakened

And at worst this is Dear Liar’s intention: to weaken America and the American presidency.

Right now this latter seems likelier.

rbj on March 9, 2014 at 1:02 PM

Hey, just think of it as ‘Light DC.’ With less damage.

TimBuk3 on March 9, 2014 at 1:02 PM

Probably the farther away from world crises this goofball stays will, in the long run, be better for all of us.

This kind of stuff is above a third rate junior Senator’s pay grade anyway.

Cleombrotus on March 9, 2014 at 1:07 PM

I have said it before: This fellow “works” on academic time except his school day has a late start and an early dismissal. He takes all of the breaks of the academic year, as well as weekends off. He is a consummate slacker/loser.

onlineanalyst on March 9, 2014 at 1:08 PM

Bush did eschew golf outings following the start of the Iraq War, in large part because he and his staff knew the bad imaging that would give Democrats and their backers in the media. You don’t see that with Obama, to the point they really don’t care if the golfing images are out there, because with Bush, the media would have coupled those images to outrageously outrageous outrage that the president was off enjoying himself at a time of crisis.

You’re just not going to see the same type of moral high dudgeon here, to the point that the same media types who were freaking out at Bush being in Crawford are using the same argument the Bush people used (and Jazz mentioned above) that all White House operations travel with the president.

jon1979 on March 9, 2014 at 1:13 PM

I’m sure the optics of the POTUS golfing during the Ukranian crisis are just fine. It was ok for POTUS to golf during the funeral for the President of Poland, and while the nation was mourning the murder of a US Ambassador.

What really bugs me is that the Obama’s never seem to want to home to their own house.

kringeesmom on March 9, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Hey, cut the guy a little slack.
It’s not like he’s Leader of the Free World, or some—
…Wait a minute.

orangemtl on March 9, 2014 at 1:18 PM

Exactly. He can do nothing from DC just as much as doing nothing from Florida. No big difference. Probably the same with his marriage, which is nothing more than a convience at this point. Can’t wait until this guy comes out of the closet.

Klick the Dick on March 9, 2014 at 1:21 PM

“What the president will be doing this weekend in Florida is essentially what the president would be doing back at the White House.”

Goofing off.

fogw on March 9, 2014 at 12:41 PM

ESPN is available pretty much anywhere in the US, so, yeah.

slickwillie2001 on March 9, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Well…I suppose he still has access to a pen and a phone.

HakerA on March 9, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Okay. Obama is playing golf out of town. Where’s the Vice President. He’s back in DC to meet face to face with expert advisors in case the situation worsens. Right?

Red Bennet on March 9, 2014 at 1:37 PM

hmmm…….his ability to lead the Europeans even less so?

Lets see, Obama Left those in Benghazi out to dry, Left Border agents out to dry, left Iranian green’s out to dry, Left his ally in Egypt out to dry, Leaving Israel out to dry, Iraq, Afghan no diff…….

Why in any logical world would Europe let Obama “lead them” into even a verbal conflict with Putin……..only to be left hanging out to dry at Obama’s whim….

sbark on March 9, 2014 at 1:38 PM

Has he even stopped recreating long enough to say anything about the Malaysian Air plane disappearance?

There were at least four Americans citizens on that plane, you’d think he’d say something.

Oh. Okay. Never mind. What difference, at this point, does it make?

Jomama on March 9, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Can’t wait until this guy comes out of the closet.

Klick the Dick on March 9, 2014 at 1:21 PM

That’s what I keep hearing. I’ve always suspected that he has an overdose of estrogen in his system from his mannerisms, fastidious behavior and petty remarks but so far no hard (pun?) evidence.

MaiDee on March 9, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Fool of a foolish land

Schadenfreude on March 9, 2014 at 1:42 PM

Goofing off.

fogw on March 9, 2014 at 12:41 PM

We should be so blessed.

Schadenfreude on March 9, 2014 at 1:50 PM

And how about the optics for Americans who aren’t working or are working and making less money and can’t afford a family vacation watching the First Family go away nearly every other month?

hopeful on March 9, 2014 at 1:55 PM

At last count this would make 163 rounds of golf. At roughly 4.5 hours per round and, giving the President the benefit of the doubt and using a 12-hour workday, this still amounts to more than 61 DAYS on the golf course.

Combined with his luxurious vacations, private concerts, and his other cavorting, Obama just hasn’t had his heart or his head fully in the game. On the one hand we should be thankful that he hasn’t rammed through more of his devastating policies. On the other, we’ve fallen so far in our world standing that our leaders are absolute laughing stocks.

C’mon, who in this world takes Obama, Clinton, Kerry, or Biden seriously? Certainly no Putin. I will never, ever be able to get the comparison photo out of my mind: a shirtless Putin on horseback next to Obama in his mom jeans and helmet on a bicycle. The only thing missing were pink streamers from his handlebars…

HotJavaJack on March 9, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Why was it a crisis when Bush was on his Ranch?

nobama1267 on March 9, 2014 at 2:12 PM

he only thing missing were pink streamers from his handlebars…

HotJavaJack on March 9, 2014 at 2:01 PM

And the little bell.

kringeesmom on March 9, 2014 at 2:16 PM

I am embarrassed he is from my generation. The Ukraine is in peril, the economy is in the trash can, spending is out of control, millions of Americans are out of work or under employed, energy prices have sky rocketed, but hey, let’s vacation in Florida!

Gothguy on March 9, 2014 at 2:19 PM

I don’t see the problem. King Barky the Incompetent wasn’t going to do anything in WDC about the new cold war he started anyway. The less time Obama is working on a problem the better the results.

jukin3 on March 9, 2014 at 2:23 PM

George W. Bush spent so much time at “the Western White House” that it became the stuff of legend on Saturday Night Live.

No one will ever convince me that working from home is the same as working from a vacation resort.

mbs on March 9, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Lame attempt at a Bush western Whtie House comparison.

Ben Hur on March 9, 2014 at 12:47 PM

It is lame and for the record, Bush wasn’t a great leader either, nor was he all that conservative. Which is why I am constantly baffled that our socialists don’t love him. It’s a mystery.

It is not just optics. He does no work for the American People. All he does is campaign and strategize the undoing of our culture and our country. He does little else. Acting, reading a teleprompter and sometimes attending a meeting don’t count for work in my book.

A real leader crafts and implements their own carefully worked out plan to correct problems and to insure the common defense. In short they LEAD. Often that real work requires long ours and passionate personal commitment.

We have never seen any of that from King Put, O the Great and Wonderful.

dogsoldier on March 9, 2014 at 2:35 PM

No one will ever convince me that working from home is the same as working from a vacation resort.

mbs on March 9, 2014 at 2:24 PM

What work is Zero doing on the golf course? ZERO. Is he even any good at golf? I thought I read that he sucks at golf nearly as bad as shooting.

dogsoldier on March 9, 2014 at 2:38 PM

What work is Zero doing on the golf course? ZERO. Is he even any good at golf? I thought I read that he sucks at golf nearly as bad as shooting.

dogsoldier on March 9, 2014 at 2:38 PM

its those damned white golf balls, they are conservative and racist.
those balls owe him reparations.

dmacleo on March 9, 2014 at 2:48 PM

“The president is looking forward to spending some time with his wife and daughters, who are traveling down to Florida as well,”

It’s funny how they make it sound like Obama rarely gets to spend time with his family. A couple of years ago the media were fawning over the fact that “loyal family man” Obama never works past 5:00, so that he can sit down to nightly dinners with his wife and daughters. Then there are the weekly White House parties, not to mention the dozens of vacations they’ve all taken (at considerable taxpayer expense) in the past five years.

There are probably very few families in America who have as much leisure time together as the Obamas. And there are none but them who get to spend their time together in the high-flying, spare-no-expense (since the taxpayers are picking up the tab) style that the Obamas do.

AZCoyote on March 9, 2014 at 2:49 PM

“What the president will be doing this weekend in Florida is essentially what the president would be doing back at the White House. It’s just that the weather will be a little warmer,” Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One.

Leading from behind lends itself to telecommuting.

John Deaux on March 9, 2014 at 3:00 PM

“What the president will be doing this weekend in Florida is essentially what the president would be doing back at the White House. It’s just that the weather will be a little warmer,” Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One.

I agree. But on a bigger golf course than that in the Oval Office.

unclesmrgol on March 9, 2014 at 3:08 PM

George W. Bush spent so much time at “the Western White House” that it became the stuff of legend on Saturday Night Live.

It was his, he owned it and he didn’t pay in excess of $3000 a night. That’s a lame analogy and a lame attempt to cover for your messiah.

rplat on March 9, 2014 at 3:11 PM

He’d rather fly with his older white daddy…

OmahaConservative on March 9, 2014 at 12:43 PM

Obama: If I like my older white daddy, I can keep him. PERIOD!

I read the link, but it seems a little Art Bell-esque to me.

ZeusGoose on March 9, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Too bad Obama’s not a little bit interested in planes blowing up in the sky.

I’m not going to complain about Obama taking off to play golf during the Ukrainian and Crimean crisis. Who are we going to support? The Ukrainian nationalists?, the Russian nationalists?, the neo-nazis?, the Chechen separatists?

Does anybody who’s all up in the Ukrainian and Crimean crisis have a flight anytime in the next week or month or so?

Don’t worry one bit about that passenger jet that disappeared over the South China Sea over the weekend. Naw, that’s nothing to worry about.

Once again, it’s too bad Obama’s not a little bit interested in planes blowing up in the sky.

Ruckus_Tom on March 9, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Hey.
One of these days Obama will break par.

Then he’ll get down to the serious business of running ruining the country.

Hedonists gots priorities.

MichaelGabriel on March 9, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Get a job, Obama.

oldennis on March 9, 2014 at 3:51 PM

At least GWB had the courtesy and understanding to suspend his golfing during Iraq/afghan conflicts

jaywemm on March 9, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Most of The Hill comments call out O’bama’s vacation. After all, it’s only been 6 weeks since he got back from Hawai’i!

Sample:

What has the clown done to deserve a vacation? especially on the taxpayers dime??

But of course, there is always an O’bama Cultist to answer!

got elected president.

Del Dolemonte on March 9, 2014 at 5:24 PM

It doesn’t matter if it’s before 9m or after 5pm, either, no matter where dear leader is.

Kissmygrits on March 9, 2014 at 6:04 PM

Several people have made excellent points. No, it doesn’t matter where Obungle is. He can do nothing anywhere.

I don’t remember Bush going to the ranch that often and when he did it was obvious that he was working. And he didn’t go when there was a crisis going on. Can you imagine if 911 had happened during Obungle’s time? He would have been on the plane to Hawaii in fear.

I remember they used to rag on Eisehower for playing golf a lot but I was too young to notice whether he played too much or his critics just said so. I only remember him being president.

crankyoldlady on March 9, 2014 at 6:41 PM

I used to wonder why england suffered royalty. Now I just want our royalty to suffer.

Murphy9 on March 9, 2014 at 6:50 PM

I don’t remember Bush going to the ranch that often and when he did it was obvious that he was working.

crankyoldlady on March 9, 2014 at 6:41 PM

He made 77 trips to Crawford in 8 years. At just over $225,000 per trip, that adds up to just over $17 million. (Source: Daily Kos)

O’bama has already spent $20 million on vacations in 5 years. And he’s still got 3 years to go. (Multiple sources).

The Democrat Media “reported” Bush’s vacation time in Crawford thusly:

If he left DC at 5 PM local time and then flew to the ranch, that entire day was counted by his Haters as a vacation Day. And When he left the ranch at 7 AM local time to fly back to DC, they again counted it as a full vacation day.

Leaders in this propaganda were the Washington ComPost and C-BS “News”.

Del Dolemonte on March 9, 2014 at 6:53 PM

May lightening strike your iron and put you back in hell where you belong.

F_This on March 9, 2014 at 7:50 PM

Jazz, just say “looks bad” not “optics,” which is meaningless newspeak drivel.

Next up, why don’t Obama just get him an RV and live in it with his worthless mooching family?

That way he can stay out of the WH all of the time.

Fine by me.

Sherman1864 on March 9, 2014 at 10:15 PM

Obama must be hoping his tee shot crosses the ocean and lands in Crimea, hopefully hitting the temple of a Russian soldier.

But he would have a better chance if he went golfing in Bulgaria.

BTW, those missiles we used to have in Poland would come in handy right now…

Steve Z on March 10, 2014 at 2:38 AM

Dear Mr. President:

It’s 3 AM in Sevastopol and your phone is ringing. Do you care to pick it up?

Steve Z on March 10, 2014 at 2:45 AM

” no red lines to be drawn on the golf course.”

Cindy Munford on March 9, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Sorry Cindy, but there are red lines drawn on many golf courses – they mark lateral or obvious hazards if your ball comes to rest in them. Players are allowed a Free Drop unless otherwise posted by Course Management

I am sure our “Commander in Shorts” is always allowed a Free Drop Course Management because because all around him continually say “Nice shot” and never penalize him for errant shots or that he has ever erred. I would guess he learned to play golf from “Dear Leader” Kim of North Korea whose score card shows he scores a “Hole-in One” on every hole.

MSGTAS on March 10, 2014 at 11:43 AM