HART: Trump’s golf summit: I like spike(s)

Ronald J. Hart
Ron Hart

On Sunday, Donald J. Trump used golf to woo a member of the more conservative Freedom Caucus into seeing things his way and to try to forge an understanding on moving forward on important matters like Obamacare reform. Invitee Senator Rand Paul Tweeted: “I had a great time today with Donald Trump and believe we are getting closer to an agreement on health care!”

Sen. Paul and White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney played golf at Trump National Golf Club in nearby Virginia to discuss such matters. Hopefully, it is “an art of a deal” in the making. There have been rancorous campaigning and debates on issues between Rand Paul and President Trump, but when wealthy WASPs meet to play golf, they are suddenly reminded that much more unites than divides them.

The notoriously frugal Mulvaney and Rand Paul had a good time playing golf with Trump. The only issue was when someone hit a ball toward other golfers. Trump would yell "Fore!" and Rand and Mulvaney would say, “No, $3.99.” Then some women golfers hit their drive into the threesome. The women yelled, "Fore!" and Trump looked at them and said, “No, at best you’re all 3’s … 3½ tops.”

Trump is realizing that success in business does not translate into governing in Washington. Washington is a different world of archaic and illogical structures, egos (not just his), and entrenched bureaucrats. Trump is having a hard time “draining the swamp.” But he is serious about it. He even sells golf shirts with little alligators on them in his golf shops to scare the establishment.

Golf has long been the "sport" of the rich and famous. Obama played a lot of golf, but rarely for business. Hopefully, as he retires we can also retire Obamacare, and Obama will now be able to play more golf. If he ever shoots an even par, it might provoke Trump to demand to see his scorecard.

Dr. Rand Paul, an ophthalmologist and Tea Party darling, has his own Obamacare replacement plan. He and other conservatives feels Trump’s bill did not go far enough; they want to fully repeal and replace the 2010 plan. Paul's plan does more to spark competition and he thinks it is a better plan. He should know — he’s a doctor.

It would have been fun to watch Trump and these guys play golf. It would have combined the two most riveting forms of TV: Golf Channel and C-SPAN. It will be interesting to see if anything will happen in the wake of the match. It will probably be like watching golf itself: You kind of expect something exciting to happen, so you watch. And it never does.

Even Bill Clinton famously played, and cheated, at golf. He even said he was playing golf in 100-degree Phoenix, Arizona, when he nefariously met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on her private jet while her DOJ was investigating Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. When they were caught meeting by a local news crew, Bill Clinton swore that they only talked about grandkids and golf. It might actually be true, since her husband with there with them.

A libertarian op-ed humorist and award-winning author, Ron’s appears on CNN, Fox and NBC. He can be contacted at or @RonaldHart on Twitter.