Obama Golfs With Fierce Political Foe

Posted June 18th, 2011 at 5:20 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama spent several hours on Saturday with one of his fiercest critics, Republican Congressman John Boehner, in a more relaxed atmosphere than the two are used to — the manicured grounds of a golf course.

The political rivals played together in an 18-hole match Saturday on a course at Andrews Air Force Base, just outside Washington.

Mr. Obama and Boehner, the speaker of the House of Representatives, beat Vice President Joe Biden and Republican Governor John Kasich from Boehner's home state of Ohio.

White House officials with approval from the speaker's office said the match was won on the 18th hole, and that the president and speaker won $2 each. They said the four men had a great time playing golf together.

Aides had expressed hope the golf outing would give Mr. Obama and Boehner a chance to discuss political issues and move closer to possible agreement. The two men have what many describe as a respectful working relationship, but have clashed over several big issues, including the country's budget.

Boehner is considered the better golfer. Golf Digest magazine ranked him 43rd among 150 prominent Washington golfers. Mr. Obama was ranked 108th.

Golf Digest ranked Biden as the best golfer among the four who competed Saturday.

The golf outing took place on the same day one of the major men's professional golf tournaments, the U.S. Open, was in its third round on a course in Maryland, a few kilometers away from Andrews Air Force Base.