When this story first popped up in my inbox I assumed it was either a joke or some trivial “local news” story, but the more I look at it, the more it seems like it could blow up into something nasty. When President Obama leaves office next Friday (may I get an “Amen” from choir?), he’ll be staying in the DC area rather than moving back to Chicago. And really… given the murder rate there, who could blame him? But that means that he’ll have to find some new spots to pursue his passion for golf. There had allegedly been a deal in place to land him a membership at the exclusive – and extremely pricey – Woodmont Country Club. Not only is it a premiere level course, but it’s very conveniently located near Obama’s new home.
Now it seems that the members are having second thoughts and the welcome mat may be withdrawn. (NY Post)
President Obama’s clashes with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may cost him a membership at an exclusive golf club, sources said.
Obama is looking to join the elite Woodmont Country Club in Maryland once he becomes a private citizen.
But members of the mostly Jewish club are at each other’s throats over whether to accept the golf-loving president, with many saying he deserves to be snubbed for not blocking an anti-Israel vote at the United Nations, according to the sources…
“Originally, this was supposed to be a back-door thing to get this done and give him the membership — free of charge — and circumvent the rules,” said a source.
That was a pretty sweet deal that the President had set up. New members are supposed to fork over an $80,000 initiation fee (assuming you can even get on the waiting list to join) and then pay nearly ten grand per year for membership. Obama was in line to have all of that waived and simply be invited to join for free. No doubt the club felt that the prestige of having a former President hanging around was worth the loss.
But now it may all be falling apart. According to the Post’s reporting, a significant portion of the members are Jewish and they’re none too happy with the recent Israeli sanctions debacle. (Not that Obama’s previous relationship with Netanyahu had been anything to write home about.) So now the club has to decide whether to carry through with the plan and risk ticking off a huge swatth of members or rescind the invitation and accept the inevitable blow back in the media. We can safely assume that somebody will claim that it’s a racist move, despite the fact that the club was the one who originally chose to extend the offer.
I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes at this point because neither option looks very appealing. But is this a real world case of people’s actions having consequences? One might assume that Barack Obama would sail out of office and into private life riding high on solid approval ratings, with a host of freebies and opportunities like this awaiting him. And I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities – including high paying speaking gigs such as the ones Bill Clinton specializes in – but in this one case… who knows? He may be about to find out that not everyone in the neighborhood shared his particular vision of hope and change.