President Obama believes it is “long past the time” for women to be admitted to the traditionally all-male Augusta National Golf Club, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday.
The remarks were viewed by some as a conscious effort by the White House to propagate the meme of a “war on women” being waged by Republicans against the fairer sex.
The president himself, however, has a well-documented history of excluding women, especially on the golf course.
Obama played 23 rounds of golf between January and October of 2009 before inviting a single woman to his foursome, the New York Times reported. This was emblematic of broader concerns over the president’s preference for the company and advice of men:
The technical foul over the all-male game has become a nagging concern for a White House that has battled an impression dating to the presidential campaign that Mr. Obama’s closest advisers form a boys’ club and that he is too frequently in the company of only men — not just when playing sports, but also when making big decisions.
“Women are Obama’s base, and they don’t seem to have enough people who look like the base inside of their own inner circle,” former Clinton press secretary Dee Dee Myers told the Times.
In a 2011 article titled “The White House Boys’ Club: President Obama Has a Woman Problem,” TIME magazine’s Amy Sullivan detailed the president’s fondness for male-dominated enviroments.
“There’s a looseness to Obama when he’s hanging out with the boys club that doesn’t appear in co-ed gatherings,” she wrote. “The President blows off steam on the golf course with male colleagues and friends. He takes to the White House basketball court with NBA stars, men’s college players, and male cabinet members and members of Congress.”