Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Seems the GOP conventioneers have been having a go at the current president and veep for their golfing enthusiasm (and, in Vice President Biden's case, alleged lack of veracity regarding his scores).  There is a certain historical irony in this, insofar as (Republican) President Dwight Eisenhower was routinely lampooned by liberals for his enjoyment of a jaunt around the greens.  Also, anyone supporting Mitt Romney for president really shouldn't be calling extra attention to the pastimes of the well-off in America -- just as anyone who voted for John Kerry might do well to step off the Mitt-has-a-wooden-personality bandwagon.  These people are people, and if they don't do something in addition to their political work they will keel over before a four-year term is up.  They tend to be well-off people, because it's ridiculously expensive to run for office.  This means, in turn, they do well-off-people things like golf.  If they weren't raised well-off, they've probably become so through some combination of intellect, talent and gift for gab.  This might not be ideal, but at present it is the way our political system works.

The preoccupation with golf, however, leads me to a fun little story about the Mittster's dad, Michigan Governor George Romney.  Seems he was quite a golf enthusiast himself -- and he was hardcore in his devotion to the sport as a sport.  No "19th hole" devotee was George.  He made a regular morning habit of rising early and heading for the course, where he would run from shot to shot, pausing only long enough to slap a club in the general direction of the ball before he was off and running again.  Biographer T. George Harris reports he was invariably dripping by the end of his "game."

(T. George Harris, Romney's Way: A Man and an Idea [Prentice-Hall, 1967])

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