No matter how you feel about his politics, it’s hard to argue with the notion that at least publicly, President Obama exudes an air of unflappability.
Golf though, has a way of bringing out rage in even the calmest of men. That’s why I’ve long harbored a secret hope that out on the course Obama is something of a walking lunatic. Where better to vent, not only from poor shot making, (after all, with this swing, we know he’s producing plenty of clunkers) but also from the extreme frustrations of being president.
Sadly, however, a recent video from our friends at TMZ, the people who brought us so much action during the Tiger Woods scandal, seems to dash my hopes. In it, Obama is heard gently reproaching himself after what must have been a push or slice. “Come on Barack,” says the president, who plays left-handed. “Not that far left.”
It’s all so vanilla. In fact, Obama almost sounds presidential in his cadence, like he’s delivering a speech – a prepared line in front of the teleprompter, perhaps.
Think back to any time you’ve reproached yourself, whether it be on or off the golf course. My voice always goes up an octave. “Come on Robby,” I’ll bellow as the ball beelines toward the nearest hazard, or as I find myself looking yet again for my car keys.
Sometimes I’ll go simply with, “Robby!” Or for more emphasis there’s “Goddammit Robby!” and derivations more profane. But always my voice is raised and its pitch is either up, in beseeching tone, or it is reproachful and stern.
Not President Obama though.
I’ve long talked of doing a comedy bit in which I perform deeply emotional songs, but spoken, and in monotone. Picture comedian Steven Wright performing Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.” Now picture Barack Obama mimicking a golfer getting frustrated. “Come on Barack, not that far left.”
I say, come on Barack, get pissed. After all, it’s not the economy or healthcare or even Vladamir Putin. It’s something far more important. It’s golf, godammit! And it’s real, real frustrating.