President Donald Trump is a good golfer for a 70-year-old. Just ask four-time major champion Rory McIlroy, who recently played 18 holes with the new president.
“He probably shot around 80,” McIlroy told the New York Times. “He’s a decent player for a guy in his 70s!”
He might not be able to shoot his age, but an 80 is a pretty good score. Especially when considering how busy the president must be.
Despite responsibilities like filling hundreds of still vacant federal job openings, working with congress to implement his many campaign promises and keeping America safe as commander in chief, Trump has spent one fifth of his days as president so far on the golf course.
By comparison, Barack Obama — according to Mark Knoller, a White House correspondent for CBS News — played 333 rounds of golf while serving as president. Of his 2,922 days in office, that means he played golf just around 11 percent of the time, or one-tenth.
Trump is on pace to play twice as much golf as Obama.
Why does this matter?
The president certainly has the right, as does anyone else living in a free country, to engage in whatever leisure activities he prefers. But Trump is a hypocrite. Just check his Twitter.
Can you believe that,with all of the problems and difficulties facing the U.S., President Obama spent the day playing golf.Worse than Carter
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2014
And a few days later:
President Obama has a major meeting on the N.Y.C. Ebola outbreak, with people flying in from all over the country, but decided to play golf!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2014
Obama and Trump are hardly the first presidents to hit the links with regularity. Commanders in chief as far back asDwight Eisenhowerand John Kennedy were frequent golfers. It seems to come with the territory.
But if Trump intends to be a different kind of president, doing exactly what he criticized the guy before him of doing as being inappropriate can’t possibly endear him to the anti-establishment voters who elected him.
When running for president it is standard, and expected, that a candidate criticize and call out the wrongdoings of the man in office. But when serving as president one’s self, that measuring stick shifts. Trump is expected to lead by example, not by being more inappropriate than the last guy.
Trump has spentmore than $10 million in taxpayer money in Florida, at Mar-a-Lago playing golf and spending time at his club. Not to mention risking national security by managing a crisis from his club’s balcony.
No one is asking Trump to give up golf. But how many ordinary Americans have to challenge their priorities when their situations change? Sometimes, you can’t afford to play as much golf as you used to.
The president may be a good golfer for an old man — but a responsible man of the people, Trump is not.