Friedman, Costner, Obama and Defining Moments

It’s hard to believe that Thomas L. Friedman, writing for the New York Times, would be so foolish as to write something a hair-brained as his column on August 23rd titled “Obama, Tiger, Golf and Politics.” But, I am grateful for the laugh.  Not that Friedman intended me or anyone else to laugh, but when you posit a theory or opinion as intellectually empty using an analogy that sets up your subject matter for ridicule…well, you just have to love the guy. In such trying times, we can all use a good laugh.

Friedman thought a “golf” analogy would be a good way to make the point about the high stakes political strategy President Obama should employ. Never mind that most people are furious over this President’s 75+ rounds of golf since elected.  Through thick and thin, rain or shine, economic crashes and Middle Eastern revolutions…it’s all tee time to our fearless leader.

But what really got me in Friedman’s piece was the particular excerpt  he chose from the Kevin Costner movie “Tin Cup” to give direction to President Obama:

“Meanwhile, Mr. President, on a rainy day, rent the movie “Tin Cup.” There is a great scene where Dr. Molly Griswold is trying to help Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy, the golf pro, rediscover his swing — and himself. She finally tells him: “Roy … don’t try to be cool or smooth or whatever; just be honest and take a risk. And you know what, whatever happens, if you act from the heart, you can’t make a mistake.”

I would choose the same movie… but a different scene.

When Roy McAvoy refused to take the easy shot and make the green, he went instead for the long shot and missed it causing him to be dropped from the competition. When his caddy, Romeo, asks him “Why?” McAvoy replies, “You know why I’d still hit that shot? I hit it again because that shot was a defining moment, and when a defining moment comes along, you define the moment… or the moment defines you.

President Obama has had many defining moments in his Presidency and they have, sadly, definitely defined him.  He has shown himself to be a man lacking the skills to unite, absent allegiance to things American and her Allies, and absent a core understanding of who he really is or what he really values.

Next time, Mr. Friedman would do well to spend less time previewing the fictitious world of cinema and more time focused on the realities of this President’s defining moments.

Did you like this? Share it:

Comments are closed.