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POLITICS

Obama golfs with Tiger Woods, to Lawrence O’Donnell’s dismay

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

President Obama went golfing today with Tiger Woods, but refused to allow the White House press corps to take any photos of the duo.

"'The last tournament you played was fun to watch," Obama told Woods this morning. "It's good to see you play well again." The compliment was reported by Golf Digest, whereas the White House press corps was denied access to Obama and Woods.

That caused a bit of a stir with the press corps. "Your pool has been aware since this morning that a reporter, Tim Rosaforte, had been tweeting and talking on the Golf Channel about the POTUS/Woods game from inside the compound," the pool report explains. "Still officially under a lid, we decided to assemble and at 2:10 PM we logged a request to the White House for access to the President’s game for a photo-op, like this administration and previous ones have granted in the past. We were told that we were free to travel to the Floridian but wouldn’t get access to POTUS."

Last year, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell accused Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., of racism based on McConnell's suggestion that Obama was spending too much time playing golf rather than focusing on the economy.

"[McConnell] is trying to align to Tiger Woods and surely, the — lifestyle of Tiger Woods with Barack Obama," O'Donnell said, as the Washington Free Beacon noted at the time. "Obviously, nothing could be further from the truth."

Even MSNBC's Martin Bashir felt the need to push back, at least a little. "Lawrence — don’t you think — don’t you think that what he’s really trying to do is to suggest that the president is not paying attention to the central issues that come with the responsibility he has?" Bashir asked. "Is he really – Mitch McConnell really making a connection with Tiger Woods who, of course, has become infamous for chasing various cocktail waitresses around Las Vegas and so on?"

O'Donnell remained firm. "If he wanted to make the point that you just suggested and I think he does want to make that point, they had a menu of a minimum of ten different kinds of images that they could have raised," he said. " But when you get to the Tiger Woods reference, there were people in the speech writing room, I know this, without a shadow of a doubt, who said wait a minute, do we really want to go there? Do we really want to go to Tiger Woods and the vote in the room was yes, we do. Mitch McConnell agreed to do it."

Bashir caved and agreed with his colleague's absurd theory, even though O'Donnell begged his own question by dubbing the golfing comment "the Tiger Woods reference." In any case, it must be mortifying for O'Donnell to see Obama advance that Republican conspiracy of his own accord, by hitting the links with Woods himself.

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