President Obama conceded to a certain degree this morning that heading to the golf course on Martha's Vineyard within minutes after delivering a speech on August 20 about the terrorist beheading of James Foley may have been a mistake.
Obama was responding to questioning from new Meet the Press host Chuck Todd, who took over for moderator David Gregory after he was dumped by NBC in part because of low ratings.
Said Obama to Todd in a somewhat rambling, self-serving response about his tee time after denouncing on television the Foley murder by ISIS:
You know, it is always a challenge when you're supposed to be on vacation. Because you're followed everywhere. And part of what I'd love is a vacation from the press... Because the possibility of a jarring contrast given the world's news, is always -- there's always going to be some tough news somewhere is going to be there. But there's no doubt that after having talked to the families, where it was hard for me to hold back tears listening to the pain that they were going through, after the statement that I made, I should have anticipated the optics. That's part of the job. I think everybody who knows me, including the press, understands that you take this stuff in. But part of this job is also the theater. It's not something that always comes naturally to me. But it matters, and I'm mindful of that..."
Obama was already on the golf course that day while James Foley's devastated parents spoke about their loss in a televised press conference.
The president is closing in on 200 rounds of golf since he took office along with at least 400 political fundraisers with one-percenters. As a candidate in 2008, Obama vowed that he would never take a vacation.
As a digression, would anyone be surprised if "optics" winds up on this year's list of most annoying words?