President Obama is getting a lot of heat for going golfing after holding a press conference earlier this week to address the execution of American journalist James Foley by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. And the fire isn't just coming from the usual suspects, with many liberals saying the president could have been more sensitive to the optics.
"As a general rule, I think that he's right that you can't be held hostage to the news cycle — the man deserves a bit of downtime," said Jim Manley, a longtime Democratic strategist. "But in this particular instance, I think a lot of Democrats flinched a little bit."
The video, Mr. Manley added, "was just so shocking that the idea that he was going to immediately run to the golf course was just a little too much for folks; it was tone-deaf." [The New York Times]
Obama's defenders say golfing and other distractions are crucial to preventing the president from becoming too emotionally involved in issues of national security.