Guest post by Kristinn Taylor
Daniel Halper at the Weekly Standard points out that contrary to media reports Obama was not contrite in his Meet the Press remarks about going golfing immediately after making a statement while on vacation last month about the videotaped beheading of American journalist James Foley by the Islamist terrorist group ISIS. Obama seemed to blame press coverage—saying he’s looking forward to a vacation from the press–rather than his conduct for the optics of being seen laughing it up on the golf course mere minutes after making a somber statement on what many consider to be an act of war on America.
As if to reinforce the point, Obama went golfing at nearby Ft. Belvoir, Virginia right after he taped the Saturday interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd at the White House, Politico reported.
““You know, I actually feel energized about the opportunities that we’ve got,” Obama told the “Meet the Press” moderator in a sit-down interview taped Saturday. And after finishing, the president quickly headed to Fort Belvoir, Virginia, for an afternoon of golf in 90-degree-plus heat.”
According to the pool report Obama spent four hours golfing Saturday.
WH pool: "After about 4 hours of golf, the motorcade rolled out of Fort Belvoir at 6 & arrived back at the WH at 6:25. No Obama sightings."
— Toby Harnden (@tobyharnden) September 7, 2014
Transcript via Meet the Press:
CHUCK TODD: I got to ask, so– so during that vacation, you made the statement on Foley. You went and golfed. Do you– do you want that back?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: You know, it is always a challenge when you’re supposed to be on vacation. Because you’re followed everywhere. And part of what I’d love is a vacation from—
CHUCK TODD: Yeah, you want to–
PRESIDENT OBAMA: –the– the press and– and– because–
CHUCK TODD: I promise you, 2 1/2 years, I think that happens.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Because the possibility of a jarring contrast given the world’s news, is always– there’s always going to be some tough news somewhere– is going to be there. But there’s no doubt that– after having talked to the families, where it was hard for me to hold back tears listening to the pain that they were going through, after the statement that I made, that you know, I should’ve anticipated the optics.
You know, that’s part of the job. And you know, I think everybody who knows me, including, I suspect, the press, understands that that you know, you take this stuff in. And– it– it’s serious business. And– and you care about it deeply.
But part of this job is also the theatre of it. A part of it is, you know, how are you, how, how are you, well, it’s not something that– that always comes naturally to me. But it matters. And I’m mindful of that. So the important thing is, in addition to that, is am I getting the policies right? Am I protecting the American people? Am I doing what’s necessary?
And when it comes to the policies, when it comes to the actions we’ve taken, I have no higher priority than keeping the American people safe. I think I’ve done a very good job during the course of these last, close to six years, doing so. And I intend to continue to meet that responsibility or meet that duty, for as long as I have the privilege of holding this office.