The president's great sacrifice

Bush says he has given up golf in solidarity with soldiers in Iraq, but that claim seems somewhat fishy.

By Alex Koppelman
May 14, 2008 6:30PM (UTC)
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President Bush sure does feel for U.S. troops, doesn't he? First he told soldiers in Afghanistan how envious he is of them for their chance to do something "exciting" and "romantic," and now, in a recent interview, he revealed that he has given up golf in solidarity with their families.

"I don't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the Commander-in-Chief playing golf. I feel I owe it to the families to be as -- to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal," Bush said. "I remember when de Mello, who was at the U.N., got killed in Baghdad as a result of these murderers taking this good man's life. And I was playing golf -- I think I was in central Texas -- and they pulled me off the golf course and I said, it's just not worth it anymore to do."


It actually turns out that the day Bush refers to was not the last day he played. The man he refers to as de Mello is Sergio Vieira de Mello, who was the U.N.'s top official in Iraq. He was killed when the world body's headquarters in Iraq was bombed in August 2003. But according to records kept by CBS News, Bush played his last round of golf in October 2003.

Also, as Warren Street at Blue Girl, Red State points out, at the time he apparently stopped playing golf, he was also dealing with knee problems that had forced him to stop his running routine.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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