Will President Obama enjoy an "Eisenhower Retirement" after 2016?
This peculiar question popped into my head while I was going through a box of books from my brief undergraduate career with a major in American Studies, when I wrote a snooze-inducing essay about Eisenhower in retirement.
"Ike Out to Pasture," was its didn't-I-think-I-was-clever title, and it featured any number of photo-copied images of Ike standing in what could have been a pasture!
Green grass as far as the eye could see!
At least, that's how it would look to a Martian, but you and I know it's a golf course, and Ike played a LOT of golf after he walked out of the Oval Office.
Now imagine a pro-am tournament in 2017 with Tiger Woods and Barack Obama on one team.
This may have some obscure political implications which I will not bother to figure out, because it's so much more interesting as a pure spectacle and a beautiful moment in the history of sport.
Barack Obama and Tiger Woods on that little stone bridge at Augusta National!
It doesn't have to mean anything!
It's just good to see, bon à voir, as Lévi-Strauss might say, in and of itself.
But when you zoom out of this happy vision, what kind of army of Secret Service agents and cops would they have to have around them?
US President Barack Obama is the target of more than 30 potential death threats a day and is being protected by an increasingly over-stretched and under-resourced Secret Service, according to a new book. Since Mr. Obama took office, the rate of threats against the president has increased 400 per cent from the 3,000 a year or so under President George W. Bush, according to Ronald Kessler, author of In the President's Secret Service.30 potential death-threats every day!
More than 10,000 threats per year!
And apart from the numbers, you know what I'm talking about.
Is there anybody in the USA who can't feel the hate directed at the President, and not only from the actually certifiable nut-jobs who send poison-pen letters to the White House.
Hate on the radio, hate on Fox TV, hate boiling out of honky-tonk bars and country clubs from sea to shining sea.
So it wouldn't be like Ike strolling up the 18th fairway with a beatific smile on his face and a couple of Secret Service agents mixed in with the crowd.
No, my friends, if Barry and Tiger ever cross that little bridge in Augusta, IMHO they will cross it inside an impenetrable wall of security and under a flotilla of Secret Service helicopters whirling across the sky.
But I hope they cross it anyway, even if we have to fill the course with every Navy Seal on the federal payroll and the 82nd Airborne along with them.
I hope they cross it anyway, because it would be a beautiful moment in the history of sport and a beautiful fuck-you to the stooges who rave on right-wing radio and the malignant billionaires who finance them.