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Woman joins Obama on the links


White House domestic policy advisor Melody Barnes and White House Trip Director Marvin Nicholson walk up the driveway to depart with President Obama for a golf outing, from the White House. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

By Michael D. Shear
President Obama headed for the links again Sunday, but this time a woman joined him on the green.

Melody Barnes, the president's chief domestic policy adviser, was part of Obama's group of four, a rarity for a regular outing that has been dominated by the "boys" of the White House.

Obama departed the White House at 12:18 p.m. wearing a black short-sleeve shirt. Barnes was wearing a baseball cap, dark long-sleeve shirt and beige pants. Marvin Nicholson, the White House trip director, loaded the golf clubs into the motorcade.
The group headed for the course at Fort Belvoir on a chilly but clear day in Washington. They arrived just after 1 p.m. for several hours of golf.

Questions about the president's chumminess with the men on his staff -- to the exclusion of the women -- has become something of a buzz about Washington.
White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton said Barnes was not the first woman to play golf with Obama, but he later notified reporters that he had been wrong, and that Barnes was in fact the first woman Obama golfed with as president.

"I was wrong about this -- all apologies," Burton wrote. "He golfed with women on the campaign trail."

Posted at 5:33 PM ET on Oct 25, 2009  | Category:  Washington Life
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An urgent warning for Billw3: be very afraid when Census workers come to your house and try to interview you. They will implant a microchip in your big white butt that will destroy your central nervous system and turn you into a blithering idiot. Worst of all, your Cialis will stop working.

Oh, hold on a minute ... the Census has already visited you. OK, disregard this warning.

Posted by: HughBriss | November 2, 2009 11:54 PM

I have no doubt Ms. Barnes is a good lawyer and an experienced public servant. But, WHAT'S HER GOLF HANDICAP? That bag looks brand new, as does the new golf glove in an un-opened envelope (look in front of her knee).
I can understand all her clothes looking brand new, but if she doesn't have a better game than the guy who got dis-invited to make a place for her, this is pure liberal tokenism.

Posted by: sampjack | October 27, 2009 8:49 AM


To HughBriss,
To ad hominem and the race card, we add "become confused".
.

Posted by: Billw3 | October 26, 2009 5:42 PM

Is this a joke or something? Does it matter? This is the most pathetic and useless story ever. Since when was it not socially acceptable for a man to play golf with other men? His wife better start finding some men to go shopping with or how about someone to hang out at the hairdressers with?

Posted by: va602ap | October 26, 2009 3:18 PM

An urgent warning for Billw3: be very afraid when Census workers come to your house and try to interview you. They will implant a microchip in your big white butt that will destroy your central nervous system and turn you into a blithering idiot. Worst of all, your Cialis will stop working.

Oh, hold on a minute ... the Census has already visited you. OK, disregard this warning.

Posted by: HughBriss | October 26, 2009 2:37 PM

I guess obama flunked the How to be Presidential Course. Why would any reputable news agency care who he plays with, unless of course it is chavez, castro or the like. Must be one of their tougher questions and observations. The economy be damned, why was there no woman on the bball court? True to a liberal, he went out and got one. Have to please everyone, at all costs.

Posted by: LTCRETUSAR | October 26, 2009 2:24 PM

I am only 51 years old. But in that span I have never seen a politician with such a thin skin. Including our past gov'r Jesse Ventura who was notoriously thin skinned. He behaves like the spoiled rich kid (his grandparents had money and he was raised with them)who whines when he doesn't get his way and everything is someone else's fault. It would be nice if he grew up and behaved more like the mature adult he should be but I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by: lordgamble | October 26, 2009 2:04 PM


What with golf, basketball, taking expensive trips on Air Force One, and appearances on talk shows, this guy is having a party at our expense. He has no feel for responsibility, maybe a screw loose.
.

Posted by: Billw3 | October 26, 2009 1:24 PM

OMG I'm sorry, I thought I signed up with a news site. FLASH!: President plays golf on asunday afternoon with key members of staff! Holy cow! Impeach! Impeach!!!

Posted by: kc7999 | October 26, 2009 12:53 PM


HughBriss spewed:
"An urgent warning for Billw3: be very afraid when Census workers come to your house and try to interview you. They will implant a microchip in your big white butt that will destroy your central nervous system and turn you into a blithering idiot. Worst of all, your Cialis will stop working."

Now look what you've done. First you said:
"Some might say that Billw3 is nostalgic for a time when the only way someone like Barack Obama could have gotten near a golf course was as a caddy."

I replied:
"When you Obama supporters can't defend the messiah, so you do one of five things:
1. Name-call
2. Knock Bush
3. Go ad hominem
4. Play the race card
5. Cop out"

Looks like you first invoked number 4, now you've used number three. Next?
.

Posted by: Billw3 | October 26, 2009 11:57 AM

An urgent warning for Billw3: be very afraid when Census workers come to your house and try to interview you. They will implant a microchip in your big white butt that will destroy your central nervous system and turn you into a blithering idiot. Worst of all, your Cialis will stop working.

Oh, hold on a minute ... the Census has already visited you. OK, disregard this warning.

Posted by: HughBriss | October 26, 2009 11:34 AM

it's 'Silly Walk' time in DC. again.
the press is definitely a 'Dead Parrot'.

Posted by: tedri50 | October 26, 2009 11:11 AM

I will never judge the president on which woman he takes with him to play golf, marbles, or hoops, etc. On this I don't care.
Women don't need to be included in everything outside of the office.

I am concerned more about 'real issues --how I am going to survive this depression given the state of our economy, among other things.

The rest is child's play. At times ultra-liberal women make me sick.

Without picking on the president for the wrong reasons --who would know they exist? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxwMckT3GbA

Posted by: Victoria5 | October 26, 2009 10:47 AM

mpwynn, you seem to be putting "tough policy decisions" and appearances on equal footing. Are you saying that "leadership" requires the President to be super sensitive to appearances?

So the President has been responsive to criticism, just like you probably want him to be, but then you find a way to criticize him for it anyway.

People who criticize simply because they don't like someone typically have a lack of integrity about it. Integrity is knowing where you stand on things, and then applying your beliefs with consistency.

That shows not only fine character, but logical, clear thinking as well, which is what is completely lacking in this "comments" thread and why clear, logical thinkers abandon these on-line discussions to you folks. You cannot have a reasoned discussion with persons unwilling to or unable to think clearly and rationally, and have some sense of logic.

(final post this site)

Posted by: wlewis1 | October 26, 2009 10:02 AM

Opps, didnt mean to write "OUTSTANDING" twice.

Posted by: wlewis1 | October 26, 2009 9:38 AM

As in tough policy decisions, so it is with sports ... Obama only makes a move when the press makes an issue out of it. Now, that's leadership we can believe in!

Posted by: mpwynn | October 26, 2009 9:38 AM

Posted by: StewartIII | October 26, 2009 9:32 AM

A quick Wikipedia read on Melody Barnes reveals she has an OUTSTANDING resume--EXTENSIVE experience in public service as well as being an accomplished lawyer.

Mr. Shear, why is the only thing we learn about this amazingly accomplished woman is what she was wearing?

As a journalist, wouldn't it be a much greater service to the public if you were to report this, and speculate on how her policy positions may possibly influence the President? If this democracy is to survive much longer, the press needs to stimulate people's brains to think about this sort of thing and not on empty fashion statements.

Posted by: wlewis1 | October 26, 2009 9:26 AM

Making up for the "b-ball" boo boo? Like u say..another photo op.

Billw3: Strange change!1

Posted by: njtou | October 26, 2009 9:21 AM

Time to think of How to remove Obama from Office!

Posted by: akeegan2 | October 26, 2009 9:13 AM

Obama is clueless. Taking up the rich man's game of golf, which excludes women, was idiotic. But he wanted the photo ops, he wanted the image.
And I'm pretty sure Michelle is going to put the skids on this twosome right quick.

Posted by: Beckola | October 26, 2009 7:11 AM

As Billw3's hunches over his sticky keyboard late at night to take snarky potshots at the current President of the United States, one may well wonder why Billw3 has not responded to the higher calling of former President George H. W. Bush's appeal for a new ethic of volunteerism, as in his celebrated "thousand points of light" address.

Posted by: HughBriss | October 26, 2009 3:44 AM

For crying out loud..a person needs to get out sometimes esp.if you are the President of our complex,terrible,cold,nasty,death panels fabricating palin limbaugh the tsunami country AMERICA...Give the President a big break..you lun.....cs.
may God bless our President Bam to save him from these pundits,who ruined our country 8 years ago....

Posted by: gracie-mansion | October 26, 2009 3:04 AM


So to put all of your comments in perspective.

THIS PRESIDENT WAS AT LEAST ELECTED!!

Keep the sour grapes and make some shine out of it.
Then let the adults and intelectuals try to restore the damage that was done over the last 8 years.

Posted by: funkmeister123 | October 26, 2009 1:06 AM

Michelle Obama just said the worst thing about her husband is his bowling game. Now we hear Obama has a golfing partner and we know he loves to play basketball.

Great, when is Obama going to create all those jobs he promised???

When is Obama going to get to work???

People are out of work and this Christmas will not be good and Obama is busy playing golf.

Posted by: jacquelinemoss | October 26, 2009 12:38 AM


HughBriss waxes eloquent:
"Some suspect that Billw3's bilious partisanship is inflamed by his impure fantasies about Orly Taitz, much as Humbert Humbert was driven to distraction by his lust for Lolita."

Hey HughBriss...
You ran away earlier. How about replying before we continue. Here, I'll re-post for your convenience:

You said:
"Some might say that Billw3 is nostalgic for a time when the only way someone like Barack Obama could have gotten near a golf course was as a caddy."

I replied:
You Obama supporters can't defend the messiah, so you do one of five things:
1. Name-call
2. Knock Bush
3. Go ad hominem
4. Play the race card
5. Cop out

Was your comment number 4?
.

Posted by: Billw3 | October 26, 2009 12:37 AM

Some suspect that Billw3's bilious partisanship is inflamed by his impure fantasies about Orly Taitz, much as Humbert Humbert was driven to distraction by his lust for Lolita.

Posted by: HughBriss | October 26, 2009 12:24 AM


Gypsy1 said re Obama:
"Now that he has his B-Ball and Golf team Gender Issues resolved, maybe he'll start acting like a President!"

I doubt it. He still has to stifle Fox News and deal with the chamber of commerce.
.

Posted by: Billw3 | October 26, 2009 12:07 AM


I had said:
"For some it's more fun than a movie, watching the Obama supporters attempt to defend him."

bcs2k replied:
" 'attempt to defend'. Our dude won. Yours did not. Economic collapse was avoided. We are the ones who are having fun. Obama is still president and you are still bitter."

He's President in title, but he acts more like a cocky brat.
.

Posted by: Billw3 | October 26, 2009 12:02 AM

Well, it's just great that the President of the United States..which used to be the Most Powerful position in the World...has finally accomplished something. Now that he has his B-Ball and Golf team Gender Issues resolved, maybe he'll start acting like a President! This gang of Southside Chicago thugs has not a clue on what to do about all the Global Issues whirling around them. They are obviously lost in indecision & inexperience...but golf and B-Ball?? got that covered ! The only "war" PrezBo has taken a presidential interest in has been with Fox News.!! how incredibly dumb. When the new Administration is elected in 2012. it will nice to have some adults in the White House...it'll be nicer yet to have a real President.

Posted by: Gypsy1 | October 25, 2009 10:12 PM

I REALLY need to know...would the author have bothered to say what the President and Melody Barnes were wearing if she weren't a woman? What a useless and sexist detail. Who cares what they were wearing?

Posted by: randakost | October 25, 2009 10:12 PM

This is not news, nor is who Obama plays basketball with an issue. Who the heck cares? Here's a couple minutes I won't get back.

Posted by: scorekeepn | October 25, 2009 10:10 PM

lol...must be getting desperate for news....

Posted by: DevilDoc | October 25, 2009 9:41 PM

Is the White House Obama's Old Boy's Club?

http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=6361

.

Posted by: usadblake | October 25, 2009 9:35 PM

Why is Obama responding to criticisms from retards? I think it is irrelevant if the president plays with men or with women.

Obama should ignore these extremist far right lunatics.

Turn folks like me loose to respond to the animals on the far right fringe. Obama should not come to gutter with drug addicts like Rush/Glen Becks/Orally and Hanna-tites. These people are too twisted and morally bankrupt to say the least.

Posted by: dressypink | October 25, 2009 9:11 PM

Crucialitis ask:
"People have time to bash over this for an hour straight?"

: Billw3
Hey.. it depends. For some it's more fun than a movie, watching the Obama supporters attempt to defend him.

to which bcs2k deduced:
"attempt to defend". Our dude won. Yours did not. Economic collapse was avoided. We are the ones who are having fun. Obama is still president and you are still bitter.

Posted by: bcs2k | October 25, 2009 9:02 PM

The guy who got the office because the country has overdosed on PC and affirmative action gets PC'd himself -

Perfect - now he knows what it's like to have some one around not because of their merits or because you want to but because YOU HAVE TO................ ROFLMFAO!!!

Posted by: Bcamp55 | October 25, 2009 7:45 PM


Crucialitis ask:
"People have time to bash over this for an hour straight?"

Hey.. it depends. For some it's more fun than a movie, watching the Obama supporters attempt to defend him.
.

Posted by: Billw3 | October 25, 2009 7:11 PM

Seriously? People have time to bash over this for an hour straight?

Posted by: Crucialitis | October 25, 2009 7:06 PM


HughBriss implied:
"Some might say that Billw3 is nostalgic for a time when the only way someone like Barack Obama could have gotten near a golf course was as a caddy."

You Obama supporters can't defend the messiah, so you do one of five things:
1. Name-call
2. Knock Bush
3. Go ad hominem
4. Play the race card
5. Cop out

Was your comment number 4?
.

Posted by: Billw3 | October 25, 2009 7:04 PM

Some might say that Billw3 is nostalgic for a time when the only way someone like Barack Obama could have gotten near a golf course was as a caddy.

Posted by: HughBriss | October 25, 2009 7:00 PM

It's the FIRST time he's played golf with a woman member of his Admin?

The guy's got a problem!

Posted by: tru-indy | October 25, 2009 6:57 PM


TruthFairy ask:
"Gee, Billw3, I wonder how many women Bush played golf with?"

You Obama supporters can't defend the messiah, so you do one of five things:
1. Name-call
2. Knock Bush
3. Go ad hominem
4. Play the race card
5. Cop out

You chose number 2. Next?
.

Posted by: Billw3 | October 25, 2009 6:56 PM


The chosen one needs a moniker, i.e. Slick Willie, Tricky Dick. I propose Vain Hussein.
.

Posted by: Billw3 | October 25, 2009 6:52 PM

If Billw3's preferred Sunday pastime is sitting at home and taking snarky potshots at the current President of the United States, one may well wonder why Billw3 has not been more moved by former President George H. W. Bush's advocacy of a high-minded ethic of volunteerism, as in his celebrated "thousand points of light" address.

Posted by: HughBriss | October 25, 2009 6:50 PM

Gee, Billw3, I wonder how many women Bush played golf with?

Bushie spent 487 days & 149 visits relaxing at Camp David and 879 days during 77 visits to his Crawford Texas ranch. He visited his parents in Kenebunkport 11 times, for 43 days. He took 609 personal out-of-town trips, in addition to Camp David & his ranch.

He attended 338 fundraisers and raised $802,586,070 for the GOP, and attended 110 sporting events.

In March 2008, CBS News worked out that Bush had spent 30% of his presidency on vacation days, the most of any sitting US President!

Somehow, I don't think Obama will have any problem comparing his leisure time taken vs Bush. And comments like yours will stand out only for their nonsensical, partisan sour grapes and jealousy.

Posted by: TruthFairy | October 25, 2009 6:49 PM

While I think it is wonderful, Morning Joe and Savannah Guthrey complained last week that he did not invite a woman to play basketball OR GOLF. So this was not innovative, sadly, but a reaction to the press concern. Do I ever wish they would report on my problems getting healthcare from the VA which I often write about and get no response.

Posted by: Mikeredneb | October 25, 2009 6:44 PM


HughBriss opined:
"Billw3 has nothing better to do on Sunday
than denigrate the President. Strange."

Hey, I'm retired, and watching Obama's antics is better than a comedy movie.
.

Posted by: Billw3 | October 25, 2009 6:41 PM

Wow. I am impressed. Golly. The whole world just changed. Shazam. World peace. Nobel. Blah blah.

You people actually wrote a piece about this?

Lame.

Posted by: wannabersc | October 25, 2009 6:33 PM

Billw3 has nothing better to do on Sunday than denigrate the President. Strange.

Posted by: HughBriss | October 25, 2009 6:30 PM


The messiah has time for golf, speeches, and hassling Fox news, but not for Afgan or details of the health bill. Strange.
.

Posted by: Billw3 | October 25, 2009 5:57 PM

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