President Obama Announces Next Steps on Syria, Heads to Golf Course

WASHINGTON - Roughly half an hour after announcing his administration would seek congressional approval for military intervention in Syria's civil war, President Obama left the White House for the golf course.

Accompanied by Vice President Biden and trip director Marvin Nicholson, a frequent golfing partner, Obama embarked for the course at nearby Fort Belvoir in Virginia. Nicholson's brother was also in attendance.

Like 15 of the 18 presidents since Theodore Roosevelt, the president is known to be an avid golfer. But although he has not hit the links with anything near the frequency of some of his predecessors, the hobby has become an occasional target by critics who contend it displays an out-of-touch character.

Today's timing may conjure memories of an August 2002 golf outing by President George W. Bush that was quickly attacked: Bush was assailed by opponents when he decried terrorist bombings in Israel to reporters on a golf course, then demonstrated his swing to them.

"I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. Thank you. Now watch this drive," he said from the course in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Obama also spoke with French President Hollande today regarding the use of chemical weapons in Syria.