Obama, Boehner win on the links

SUNDAY, JUNE 19, 2011

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner played five hours of golf together on Saturday, emerging with no deals on any of their current conflicts but showing signs that, amid those talks, relations between them are cordial.

In a bipartisan match-up, Obama and Boehner teamed up and beat Vice President Joe Biden and Ohio Gov. John Kasich in a game that went down to the wire on the 18th hole, according to White House officials, who provided no further details about the level of play.

Neither side reported an alignment in positions about raising the nation’s debt ceiling, an unsettled issue that could force the government to default on its obligations by early August. Republicans are pushing for more spending cuts before they vote to raise the debt limit.

There also was no apparent agreement over U.S. military involvement in the NATO alliance pounding Libya’s forces in that country’s civil war.

Obama began the day with the release of his weekly radio address, in which he encouraged fathers to participate in their children’s lives, describing the fun he has had helping to coach his daughter Sasha’s basketball team this year.

Shortly after 9 a.m., Obama headed for the golf course, where he and Boehner played 18 holes with Biden and Kasich.

At one point, during the afternoon, cameras caught the president patting the Republican speaker on the back. The president and speaker each won $2 on the game, then retired to the patio of the clubhouse for a cold drink and a little coverage of the U.S. Open taking place just up the road.


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