Skip to main content
Tags: Gerson | Obama | vacation | golf | Marthas Vineyard

WashPost Column: Obama's Tee-Off Time a 'Symbol of Detachment'

WashPost Column: Obama's Tee-Off Time a 'Symbol of Detachment'
President Barack Obama lines up his putt while playing a round of golf at Farm Neck Golf Club on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters/Landov)

Tuesday, 26 August 2014 12:17 PM EDT

President Barack Obama was "tone deaf" to criticism of his leadership while making his golfing tee-off time "a symbol of detachment" from his detractors, Michael Gerson wrote in a column in The Washington Post.

Gerson suggests that Obama has surrounded himself with sycophants at the White House who are unwilling to tell him when he's about the make a major blunder, such as hitting the links right after giving a somber speech addressing the beheading of American journalist James Foley.

Gerson wrote Obama is entitled to take a vacation on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts and play some golf, and the public "would be selfish and shortsighted" to criticize him for taking a vital break from the pressures of the presidency.

Vote Now: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance?

"It is the immediate juxtaposition of beheading and golfing that should have raised questions," he wrote.

"Those questions would have been so obvious to any reasonably competent deputy press secretary that the incident raises further issues: Is there really no one on the White House staff with the standing to confront Obama when he is about to make a self-evident mistake? Is he surrounded by sycophancy? Or has re-election liberated Obama from all considerations of symbolism or appropriateness?"

He continued, "He appears to be telling the media, his political critics and the world: You can criticize me, vilify me, challenge me; but you are powerless, at least, to change my tee time. It shows resilience. Yet there is a fine line between not giving an inch and not giving a damn."

Gerson said that as Obama's failures have multiplied he seems "disconnected and tone deaf," which has become of particular concern as he faces "the defining crisis" of his presidency — the potential global threat from the Islamic State terror organization, which has captured vast parts of Iraq and Syria.

"The traits and views that aided his political rise — an emotional and geopolitical disengagement — are not sufficient to the moment. Even some of his traditional supporters have begun to fear that the president's golfing has become not merely a respite but a symbol of detachment," Gerson wrote.

"For years, Obama has reacted to events in the Middle East, and lately been at their mercy. Now he must provide some assurance that he is shaping events with a strategy that culminates in the end of the Islamic State."

Gerson, a nationally syndicated columnist, concluded, "As a matter of policy, this will require recognition that Iraq and Syria are one theater in a long-term struggle that does not fade when we ignore it. As a matter of leadership, it will require a certain trumpet, for a change."

The White House has scoffed at allegations that Obama is disconnected or tone deaf, The Hill reported, with his defenders saying that suggestions the president has checked out is a media myth that makes a good headline.

"This is a guy who reads 10 letters a day simply to keep in touch with the American people," a former senior administration official told The Hill. "He spends all his time thinking about the economy and improving lives of the American people. He's constantly in touch." The Hill did not identify the official.

Vote Now: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance?

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Newsfront
President Barack Obama was "tone deaf" to criticism of his leadership while making his golfing tee-off time "a symbol of detachment" from his detractors, Michael Gerson wrote in a column in The Washington Post.
Gerson, Obama, vacation, golf, Marthas Vineyard
550
2014-17-26
Tuesday, 26 August 2014 12:17 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
 
TOP

Interest-Based Advertising | Do not sell or share my personal information

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Download the NewsmaxTV App
Get the NewsmaxTV App for iOS Get the NewsmaxTV App for Android Scan QR code to get the NewsmaxTV App
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved