Tiger Woods And Barack Obama
January 31, 2008, 07:36 PM
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Barack Obama has been compared to Tiger Woods so many times (Google finds 290,000 pages where they are both mentioned, although no doubt a large fraction are "And in other news" references rather than direct comparisons) that many people no doubt assume, unconsciously, that Obama possesses the same traits as Woods. We`ve seen countless commentators, for example, simply assume that Obama, like Woods, identifies as biracial, when the opposite is true for Obama.

Many folks also seem to assume that Obama possesses Woods` bulletproof psyche. Golf isn`t exactly a tough sport physically, but its emotional and cognitive demands are high. And Tiger`s consistency makes even Jack Nicklaus, whose ability to focus and block out distractions intimidated everybody in his day (other than maybe Lee Trevino), look like Britney Spears. In contrast, if Obama`s 1995 autobiography is to be believed, he has a rather fragile, depressive personality.

The Woods Halo Effect may well benefit Obama even more this year because Woods is now 32, which was the peak age in Jack Nicklaus`s career. In 1972, Nicklaus made a strong effort to become the first golfer since Bobby Jones to win the Grand Slam of major championships, winning the Masters and US Open before losing the British Open by a stroke when Trevino chipped in on the next to last hole. Woods won the first tournament he entered last weekend by 8 strokes, and he believes the Grand Slam is achievable.