President Barack Obama with, from left to right, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, Sen. Mark Udall,, and Sen. Bob Corker (AP Photo). UPDATE (via White House report):
This afternoon, the President, who has the highest handicap of the
foursome, paired with up Senator Udall, who has the lowest. Senators
Chambliss and Corker, aided by Chambliss's hole-in-one on the 11th, won
The President enjoyed the chance to spend some time on the golf course
with the Senators. Most of the talk centered on the round of golf and
not the latest round of legislative negotiations in Congress. The
President was pleased that the rain held off, despite the damp forecast.
Never mind reaching across the aisle — President Obama has reached across the tee.
With some free time in his schedule, the leader of the free world lit out for the links today, and he turned the round into a bipartisan outing by inviting two Republicans into his group. The President’s four-ball at the Andrews Air Force Base golf course in Maryland consisted of Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn, Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga, and Mark Udall, D-Colo.
You wonder if they played in two-man teams. According to the New York Times, all three congressmen who joined the President are known for working together across party lines.
All three are the sort who are willing to work with colleagues of the other party on bipartisan legislation — just the kind Mr. Obama is hoping to build into a super-majority of the Democrat-led Senate, at least 60 votes — to pass his second-term priorities like budget, immigration and guns measures. With Senate passage of such legislation, the strategy holds, the House, and its Republican majority, would be under pressure to compromise in turn.
An avid golfer, Obama has caught flack from political opponents for spending too much time on the fairways. According to CBS News’ Mark Knoller, Obama has played 121 rounds since taking office in January 2009. On this occasion, at least, Sen. Corker had no complaints, describing the golf get-together as a “good thing.”
“With the major fiscal issues our country is facing, not mention foreign relations issues around the world, anytime you can get the president’s ear for a few hours, I think that’s a good thing.”
No word yet on what the stakes were. But most likely they were playing a five-dollar nassau.
Or for the future of health care reform.