President George W. Bush, who routinely allowed journalists to accompany him on golf outings early in his presidency, told Politico in May 2008 that he decided to give up the game in August 2003 after a bomb attack on the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad that killed a top U.N. official.
“I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander-in-chief playing golf,” Bush said. “I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them.”
“And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong message,” Bush said.
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By now you've heard there was an earthquake in Washington D.C. today, and in case you were wondering, President Obama was golfing when it happened.
Politico’s Carrie Budoff Brown, the White House pool print journalist, reported that shortly after the quake:
The pool was ushered onto the fairway of first hole, where the presidential party had already reached the putting green. The pool was kept several hundred feet away, well outside shouting distance.
The pool was, however, able to see the president putting moves, albeit from a distance.
From our vantage point, this is the play by play: He stepped up to his ball, which was several feet from the hole, and made two practice strokes. He missed the hole on his first putt, but got it close. He then tried to tap it in, but missed again. He appeared to pick up the ball to let the others in his party play through as he watched.
At the same time, over in Libya:
Al Jazeera has been carrying hours of live footage of ecstatic Libyans stomping on a gold head of Qaddafi ripped from a monument to himself at the compound, driving their cars in circles over a massive Qaddafi-era flag in Green Square, and taking gold-plated AK-47s and other items from his compound. Sky News interviewed a man wearing a rope-thick gold chain and Qaddafi's generalissimo cap outside one of his homes. The man said he'd taken them from Qaddafi's bedroom.
Where's Qaddafi? It's anybody's guess at the moment.
There is almost certainly some fighting ahead, and the challenges to building a new Libya – from tribal rivalries to a damaged economy to the absence of any meaningful institutions to build on – remain great.