Rich Galen

The Washington Post runs a little item every Friday entitled: "Who Had the Worst Week in Washington?"

It is often a political figure who as said or done something so outrageous that it stands out from all the other outrageous things political figures here have said or done.

Sometimes it's a sports figure (The Washington Nationals won in June 2013 when they were 29-30) .

Sometimes someone in the media (David Gregory recently won after being fired from Meet the Press).

Last week's winner was Barack Obama.

The column, like so many on and off the record; Republican and Democrat, pointed to his astonishing lack of political insight he demonstrated by going directly from a statement about the death of reporter James Foley to the golf course.

The Post ran a photo atop the column of the President sitting in a golf cart, laughing heartedly. Although there was nothing in the caption to indicate it was taken right after his statement about Foley, that was certainly the impression it left.

The groans from both sides became so loud that the New York Times quoted White House Communications Director, Jennifer Palmieri as saying: "His concern for the Foleys and Jim was evident to all who saw and heard his statement."

The Times, by the way, used the same laughing-in-the-golf-cart photo as the Washington Post.

According to (which used a different golfing photo), White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz was trotted out to say, "sports and leisure activities are a good release and clearing of the mind."

Which led me to Tweet (@richgalen) "Political Rule: If you have to explain it, you've lost."

That wasn't all. Maureen Dowd, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the NY Times, wrote a brilliant parody of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address which began

Dear Mr. Mullings:

"Lincoln's Gettysburg Address?" Other than the addresses of one or more of the 20 dealers in antiques, artifacts, or art located in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania what other famous Gettysburg Address would there be?


Cranky (Another Week Before School Starts)

Getting back to Ms. Dowd's column ? which began: "FORE! Score? And seven trillion rounds ago, our forecaddies brought forth on this continent a new playground, conceived by Robert Trent Jones, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal when it comes to spending as much time on the links as possible."

Which is yet another reason why Ms. Dowd has won a Pulitzer and I have gotten in trouble for forgetting to pick up oregano at the Safeway.

The current term for what was wrong with the nine rounds of golf the President played over the past two weeks is: Optics.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at