After this week’s latest Democratic shellacking at the polls, President Obama joked that he might consider “letting John Boehner beat me again at golf.”
Obama and the Ohio Republican are known for their love of the game.
But after a testy bipartisan White House luncheon Friday that quickly became a face-off over immigration, the immediate post-election opportunity for Obama to hit the links with Speaker Boehner came and went.
Obama chose to squeeze in a round sans Boehner on a chilly Saturday at Fort Belvoir before leaving on a lengthy eight-day tour of Asia and Australia. Fellow duffers were the usual suspects: Marvin Nicholson, Joe Paulsen and Mike Brush.
“Crazy that Obama is playing golf already,” a Republican leadership aide remarked. “Not surprising that he doesn’t invite Boehner. I’m sure Boehner is better than he is, and we know Obama never likes to actually be challenged.”
“Maybe the president wanted to avoid going down in GOP defeat twice in one week,” a former GOP aide quipped.
Nicholson, a long-time aide who currently serves as the White House trip director, is the president’s most frequent golf partner. Paulsen, the deputy director of the White House office of Political Strategy and Outreach, and Brush, a top aide in the advance office, also are Obama’s golfing regulars.
In his post-election presser, Obama also said he would enjoy sitting down and having some Kentucky bourbon with McConnell after joking earlier this year that he would rather avoid doing so.
But instead of setting up a bourbon summit at a later date and time, Obama sent House GOP leaders home Friday with a roadie: a swag bag filled with a six-pack of White House ale brewed on the White House grounds.
After such a contentious luncheon, the gesture and likely the beer itself “fell a little flat,” one House Republican aide remarked.
-Courtesy of Washington Examiner