Care for a little mail responding to today’s Impromptus? I have three quickies for you. My column opens with some words about Obama and golf — the president’s liking for the game, his indulgence in it. At the end of my comments, I ask those (conservatives) tempted to be cross about Obama and golf to remember one thing: “The more time he spends on the golf course, the less time he spends governing.”
A reader writes, “Do you remember when the Democrats bashed Bush for spending so much time at his ranch in Texas? They’d argue that he should be spending his time working on the country’s problems. I’d think, ‘Oh, what do you want him to do? Continue killing innocents in Iraq, raping the environment, doling out favors to his rich friends, taking food out of the mouths of black children?’”
Well put. And well before they griped about George W. in Crawford, they griped about Reagan at Rancho del Cielo. For all I know, they griped about Ike at Camp David, too. (By the way, I always thought it was wrong of Eisenhower to take the presidential retreat — Shangri-La — and rename it after his own grandson.) (Also by the way: You know where Ike really liked to spend his time? Augusta National.) (Don’t tell the New York Times.)
Then in Impromptus, I talk a little about feet on desks. Some people don’t like that Obama puts his feet on the historic desk in the Oval Office when talking with his advisers and others. I recall, in my column, a little flap that occurred during the Bush 41 term: Chief of Staff Sununu put his feet on the table during a “budget summit,” much to the annoyance of Senator Byrd. Incidentally, has “Fiddlin’ Bob” ever not been a senator?
Reader writes, “Just have to share this quick tidbit. As a fundraising consultant, I once worked for a tyrannical boss who would boom through the phone, ‘Make sure you’re wearing out plenty of shoe leather — the bottoms, not the backs!’”
Finally, I have an item about Bob Bork — my friend and hero Robert Heron Bork — who was recently described in the Boston Globe as “the failed Supreme Court nominee.” It wasn’t Bork’s failure, I say in my column. Anyway, a reader writes, “To adapt an old line, the roster of potential nominees today represents the most extraordinary collection of legal talent and knowledge since Robert Bork dined alone.” Oh, Bork alone is worth — how many Sonia Sotomayors? The mind reels.
You remember that, as a senator, Obama voted against both John Roberts and Samuel Alito. I doubt I’ll ever have a chance to pose a question to President Obama. But others do have such chances, even though he doesn’t hold press conferences (apparently). Could someone please ask him, “Why is Sonia Sotomayor fit for the Court while Roberts and Alito are not?” Could someone please? I have other questions, too — I could give you a list . . . (“How do you decide to what leaders or rulers to bow? What are the criteria?”)