NYT White House Correspondent: Obama 'Hates' Camp David Because There's No Golf
UPDATE AT END OF POST: There actually is golf at Camp David.
Camp David has been an historic presidential retreat since World War II, but according to New York Times White House correspondent Helene Cooper, Barack Obama "hates it" because there isn't any golf.
Such was revealed on the syndicated Chris Matthews Show this weekend (video follows with transcript and commentary):
HELENE COOPER, NEW YORK TIMES WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Alright, for something totally superficial, I have figured out why President Obama does not like Camp David.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: He doesn’t like it?
COOPER: He hates it. We were up there for the G-8 last weekend and I’ve never been able to understand why, you know, Obama, President Obama doesn't like going there. It's beautiful. I mean, the cabins are…
MATTHEWS: Did you get to see it?
COOPER: Yes, I finally got to see it. I got to see the presidential cabin.
MATTHEWS: Everybody loved it.
COOPER: It was fantastic. And so everybody’s going, “Why doesn't he spend more time up there?” No golf.
MATTHEWS: No golf.
COOPER: It's all about the golf.
MATTHEWS: Doesn’t he have a little putting green?
COOPER: No, it's all about the golf. It's got a couple of places where you can...
MATTHEWS: But it's got skeet shooting, it’s got bowling, it’s got everything.
COOPER: There's wildlife, I saw a squirrel.
MATTHEWS: Oh God. I think that shows a limitation at this point. I think it would be great out there.
You think so, Chris?
After all, the President that claims to be a man of the people has now played almost 100 rounds of golf since Inauguration Day.
While Obama's adoring media try to paint Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as a wealthy elitest out of touch with the public, maybe they should be far more critical of a president that has averaged over two rounds of golf per month while much of the nation struggles to make ends meet.
His love of golf is so great he doesn't even like the famed presidential retreat because it doesn't have a course.
It therefore will be very interesting to see how much attention Cooper's startling revelation gets in the coming days.
*****Update: Cooper on her visit to Camp David might have missed something. Sports Illustrated reported in 1955:
The most recently built, and perhaps the most interesting, of President Eisenhower's golfing loci is a new four-hole pitch-and-putt course which a number of his friends have provided for him at Camp David, the presidential weekend retreat in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland. Here, a rustic-type lodge perches atop a ridge. There is a terrace in front, and then the land slopes quickly down to a small clearing that was devised by President Roosevelt (F.D.) so that a person lolling on the terrace could command a superb view of the countryside—on a clear day, a 30-to 40-mile vista. From the terrace to the edge of the wood line, the cleared lawn measures about 140 yards and runs to about the same yardage in width. This is hardly enough room for even one good golf hole, but Robert Trent Jones, the golf architect who was called in, dealt with the spatial problem with fine imagination. At the left of the clearing Jones built an Augusta-type green, and then created four tees along the right-hand edge—the first, 100 yards distant and 15 feet above the level of the green; the second, 140 yards distant, 20 feet above; the third, 120 yards distant, 20 feet below; and the fourth, 80 yards distant and 15 feet below. Carrying his mashie and pitching irons, a player hits his shot from each of the four tees, in counter-clockwise order, then moves up to the green to hole out his four balls. It offers a splendid variety of shots and no confusion in a foursome as long as each player uses a clearly distinguishable set of balls—like ones imprinted with MR. PRESIDENT.
Maybe our current president doesn't find this format challenging enough.
As for what number of rounds Obama's played since Inauguration Day, Saturday was only his 98th time. The original version of this piece claimed the President had already surpassed the century mark.