PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club

The Loop

Ogilvie: Get Bill Clinton to host the Hope

January 21, 2011

LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Joe Ogilvie, among the deeper thinkers in the game, has offered a solution to reinvigorating the beleaguered Bob Hope Classic: Bring former president Bill Clinton aboard as the tournament host.

"I think it might need an A-list host that says, 'you know, this is an important event. The Eisenhower Medical Center has touched a lot of people's lives,'" Ogilvie said following the third round of the Bob Hope Classic on Friday. "I think the guy I'd have host this tournament is Bill Clinton. I think he was a Republican's best friend, even though he was a Democratic president. He obviously holds huge cachet with the Democratic party. And this tournament has always had a political element. I remember watching it when [former Speaker of the House] Tip O'Neill played it, and it had the three presidents play [in 1995, when Clinton, Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush played]. A Bill Clinton would add instant cachet. He also would bring in an A list-clientele and he could walk a sponsor in."

The question, of course, is whether Clinton would agree to do it. Yes, Ogilvie said, and as an enticement, the tournament, which has contributed more than $33 million to the Eisenhower Medical Center, should offer to extend its charitable contributions to include the Clinton Global Initiative.

"It could say, 'look, we realize your time is valuable. So we'll guarantee you half a million dollars to the Clinton Global Initiative and give you 10 30-second TV spots.' And you know President Clilnton supports the USO and [the tournament is] trying to get the USO involved. Bob Hope practically created the USO. If I had one guy it would be Bill Clinton. I think he'd add a lot. And I think he'd do it. He loves the game. California is his stomping ground. I think golf could do a helluva job for the Clinton Global Initiative. He's got my invitation."

-- John Strege