Ron Sachs / CNP / Newscom / File
House Speaker John Boehner (R) of Ohio follows through on a drive at the pro-am tournament at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., July 1, 2009. Representative Boehner has offered to meet President Obama for a round of golf. Will they use the opportunity for bipartisan discussion?

John Boehner disses Obama's golf game on Fox News

In a recent interview, new Speaker of the House John Boehner challenged President Obama to a round of golf – and offered the president a handicap.

House Speaker John Boehner (R) of Ohio says he’s willing to play golf with President Obama. Any course, anytime, anywhere, presumably. Now that’s bipartisan outreach.

The offer came with a diss, though. Mr. Boehner implied that his own skill with clubs is superior to that of the nation’s chief executive, and that he’ll have to allow Mr. Obama a handicap.

“I’m sure I’ll have to give him strokes,” said Boehner on Fox News Sunday.

Of course, Boehner is right about this. He plays golf a lot – has for years. He hit the links some 120 times last year. His own handicap bounces between a 5 and an 8, depending on who you talk to. That’s pretty good.

Obama plays too, but roughly half as often as Boehner.

Obama is unlikely to be offended by Boehner’s subtle poke. Most likely it will just stoke his competitive ire. Game on!

Outgoing Obama advisor David Axelrod said last week that a golf meeting between the two is likely to happen.

Will it be an occasion for bipartisan discussion?

They could accomplish a lot while staring down the fairways at Congressional Country Club, say. Golf has a lot of downtime for chatting.

They could talk about the upcoming House vote on raising the debt ceiling. They could talk about GOP demands that Obama agree to deep cuts in spending before lawmakers approve raising the debt ceiling. They could talk about how not raising the debt ceiling would cause an international bondholder freak-out.

Boehner sounds like he might be willing to decouple raising the debt ceiling from the spending cut thing, by the way, in the name of the US fulfilling its debt obligations. A US debt default “would be a financial disaster not only for our country, but for the worldwide economy,” said the new leader of the House.

As they search for balls lost in the rough, Boehner and Obama could also talk about how hard it is to quit smoking. Boehner sounded a little peeved on that subject Sunday when Fox host Chris Wallace pressed him about it.

“Listen, it’s a bad habit, but I have it. And it’s a legal product. I choose to smoke. Leave me alone,” said Boehner to Wallace.

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