In the summer heat of the debt ceiling debate this year, President Obama organized a cease-fire in the tension with a friendly bipartisan golf game. Obama and Vice President Biden were set to be joined by Speaker of the House John Boehner and a guest. After some deliberation, Boehner told reporters at a Politico Playbook Breakfast Thursday, he picked Ohio Governor John Kasich.
Kasich may have been somewhat overwhelmed by the whole prospect of facing off against Obama, an avid and able golfer, and Biden, during such a high-profile contest.
"I spent all night getting Kasich in the right place. ... 'Kasich, calm down, calm down,'" Boehner said he told his golf partner leading up to tee-time. "I said 'look, they're going to be far more nervous about this than we are. Just relax ... I hear Biden's been out there hitting balls for an hour.'"
Boehner and Kasich arrived at the Andrews Air Force Base links to see Biden indeed "pounding balls." Boehner says the nervousness didn't subside after hearing what Obama told them next.
"The president says 'Hey Boehner, you and I, we're going to take these two on,'” Boehner recalled Obama announcing. "I thought John Kasich was going to cry."
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports:
That line got a lot of laughs from the audience, a group of scribes who've seen Boehner break into tears over less than a golf game. In any case, Boehner said Obama's move was a smart one, a clear reference to Boehner's reputation as a great golfer.
"Somebody gave the president some pretty good advice. I'm not sure who it was but it was very good advice," he said. "The president and I whipped 'em pretty good."
Be that as it may, Biden is ranked the best golfer out of the foursome, while Kasich is ranked the lowest. None of the golfers released their scores, so there's no way of telling who was to blame, or credit, for the outcome of the game. According to a pool report at the time, the game was decided on the 18th hole, which, according to Boehner, is apparently a good whipping.