No President in American history has ever golfed more per week than Donald Trump. In his first 12 weeks in office Trump took a staggering 18 golf course trips. That's unheard of. In his first 12 weeks in office, President Obama didn't visit a single golf course. By the end of this year, it's likely that Trump will have golfed more than President Obama has in his entire presidency.I spent much of the Obama era believing that right-wing anger at Obama wasn't very different from the anger directed at Bill Clinton when he was president, or the anger that would have been directed at Hillary Clinton if she'd been elected president. I thought conservatives had identical goals in mind -- destroying the Democrat and all allies by any means necessary -- and that they were just using whatever was at hand in order to do damage. Bill Clinton chased women. Barack Obama was an African immigrant's son. The attackers didn't change -- the biographies of their targets did.
And that's strange. It's really strange. Because Donald Trump and other conservative pundits seemed to be deeply bothered by the times President Obama went out and golfed. It appeared to genuinely offend them. They obsessed over it....
More than ever, it's clear that conservatives never really had a problem with a golfing President, what they hated seeing was a black golfing President.
... referencing Obama golfing ... was a coded way to say, "How dare that uppity negro golf and enjoy leisure time why we work hard to make this country what it truly is?"
But both Clinton and Obama played golf -- and only Obama was attacked for it. I can recall only one golf-related story that was used against Clinton:
[Vernon] Jordan first met Clinton during the lawyer's days at the Urban League. Southerners who love to work a room, both men love to eat, golf, tell stories--and flirt with women. Their mutual fondness for the ladies is a frequent, if crude, topic of conversation. Asked at a party earlier this year what it was he and Clinton talk about on the golf course, Jordan slyly replied: "We talk pu--y."Vernon Jordan -- civil rights leader turned D.C. "fixer" -- is black.
But Clinton's golf generally went unremarked, even in the impeachment period, when he was not only the top target of right-wing hate but was loathed by the mainstream D.C. establishment. Why? Well, if Obama was despised for leisure-time amusements that were regarded as too high-class for him, Clinton was despised for acting too low-class. He liked junk food and unsophisticated women. He was white trash who didn't belong in Washington. ("He came in here and he trashed the place, and it's not his place," David Broder famously told Sally Quinn.)
Clinton was white. He was supposed to play golf. He wasn't supposed to play golf with a black man -- even a sophisticated D.C. operative -- and "talk pu--y."
Obama wasn't supposed to play golf. He was putting on airs when he did that. But of course, as far as the right was concerned, he was putting on airs every day when he woke up and was still president.