Tenuous Golf ConnectionsAugust 15, 2016

These are the songs running through President Obama's head when he plays golf

As far as we can tell, there are no photos of Barack Obama listening to music on the golf course. But everyone knows you don't actually have to be listening to music to hear music while you're playing. And getting a song stuck in your head during a round can be soothing and even add to your enjoyment -- provided it's not that "Hall of Fame" song from those non-stop OMEGA commercials during the PGA Championship.

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We're going to assume the President of the United States, who recently said he's down to a 13 handicap, is no different. And thus, with the White House releasing Obama's summer playlist on Spotify last week, we're also going to assume that these are the songs that have been running through his head as he tees it up. Here's the playlist, which was broken up into "daytime" and "nighttime":


  1. LoveHate Thing — Wale
  2. Smooth Sailin' — Leon Bridges
  3. Elevator Operator — Courtney Barnett
  4. Home — Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
  5. Many the Miles — Sara Bareilles
  6. Tightrope — Janelle Monáe
  7. Classic Man — Jidenna
  8. So Ambitious — Jay Z feat. Pharrell
  9. Me Gustas Tu — Manu Chao
  10. Forever Begins — Common
  11. The Man — Aloe Blacc
  12. As We Enter — Nas & Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley
  13. Sinnerman — Nina Simone
  14. U Got the Look — Prince
  15. Rock Steady — Aretha Franklin
  16. Good Vibrations — Beach Boys
  17. Don't Owe You A Thang — Gary Clark Jr.
  18. Man Like That — Gin Wigmore
  19. II B.S. (edit) — Charles Mingu


  1. If I Have My Way — Chrisette Michele
  2. Espera — Esperanza Spalding
  3. Tell It Like It Is — Aaron Neville
  4. Alright — Ledisi
  5. Trapped By A Thing Called Love — Denise LaSalle
  6. Lady — D'Angelo
  7. So Very Hard to Go — Tower of Power
  8. Midnight Sun — Carmen McCrae
  9. Cucurrucucú Paloma — Caetano Veloso
  10. Green Aphrodisiac — Corinne Bailey Rae
  11. I'll Be There for You / You're All I Need — Mary J. Blige / Method Man
  12. Lover Man — Billie Holiday
  13. Criminal — Fiona Apple
  14. Acid Rain — Chance the Rapper
  15. My Funny Valentine — Miles Davis
  16. Do You Feel Me — Anthony Hamilton
  17. I Get Lonely — Janet Jackson
  18. Lean In — Lizz Wright
  19. All Day Music — War
  20. Say Yes — Floetry

To be honest, I haven't heard of most of these songs or artists. However, the image of the most powerful man in the world listening to Aloe Blacc singing "I'm the man, I'm the man, I'm the man," brings a smile to my face. And apparently, Obama is the man when it comes to putting together a playlist.

"For a playlist to hit No. 1 globally on its own out of nowhere is just bananas," Spotify spokesman Jonathan Prince told The New York Times. "If he wants a job curating music when this presidential gig is over, we’d take him in a second. That’s very impressive."

We'll have to see, Jonathan. The President is going to have a lot of golf on his plate.

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