Condoleezza Rice Has Been ‘Playing A Lot’ Of Golf During Iraq War, Not Willing To ‘Sacrifice’ Her Game Like Bush

In May, President Bush revealed that he had given up playing golf because of the Iraq war. “I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal,” said Bush. But apparently Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice doesn’t feel the same way. While at the AT&T National golf tournament this weekend, Rice gave an interview to the Golf Channel and said she’s been “playing and playing a lot” since the war began:

QUESTION: Now, I understand you started your Independence Day weekend with a round of golf?

RICE: I did. I have my family here and some friends, and so we went out and we hit a few yesterday. I don’t get out often enough because I’m traveling all the time most of the time, but we did. We played 18.

QUESTION: Now, how did you get hooked? I know you started playing golf about, what, four years ago? What about the game —

RICE: Well, it’ll actually be three years this year, three years in August that I’ve been playing and playing a lot. A lot for me.

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In an interview with the Washington Post’s Dan Sternberg this weekend, Rice said her philosophy on war and golf differs from President Bush’s. She explained that she is unwilling to “sacrifice” her game because she needs to “stay in shape”:

QUESTION: Ok. This is the last thing, I promise. I’m sure you heard what the President said about how he’s not playing golf now. Did you have any kind of feelings about that, because I guess some people in the golf community were a little bit hurt by that somehow.

RICE: I just think the President made that choice, and he is somebody who really feels strongly about having people sacrifice. He wanted to do this. I know that the President cares a lot about sports and he keeps himself in awfully good shape. He rides his bike, keeps himself in very good shape, and I think that’s the important thing.

QUESTION: So Cabinet secretaries can still play?

RICE: Cabinet secretaries and the President can all do exactly what they wish. But all of us are trying to stay in shape in these tough jobs.

Spencer Ackerman notes that Rice spent the weekend golfing just after telling Bloomberg’s Judy Woodruff that she is “proud of the decision” to invade Iraq.

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