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Obama golf forces Army couple to move wedding: How big a deal?

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Gary Cameron/Reuters

(Read caption) People wave and greet U.S. President Barack Obama's motorcade at Bellows Air Force Station Beach, Hawaii December 27, 2014.

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It’s a story made in heaven for conservative media: President Obama decides to play golf while on vacation in Hawaii, and in the process forces a couple to move their wedding. And it’s not just any couple: The bride and groom are both captains in the Army.

On a slow news day at the end of December, this qualifies as a big deal – especially for outlets like The Washington Times, which sent out a “breaking news” alert as soon as Bloomberg posted the story.

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Conservatives love to razz Mr. Obama about his love of golf. Add the military angle – presidential golf taking precedence over a military couple’s wedding – and you’ve got conservative click bait.  

The couple, Natalie Heimel and Edward Mallue Jr., had planned to get married Sunday at the 16th tee box at Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course, located on the Marine Corps Base Hawaii. But Obama wanted to “play through.” So no more 16th hole for Ms. Heimel and Mr. Mallue, they were informed.

Big deal or no big deal? Obviously, a late-minute switch to one’s wedding venue is a big deal. Mallue, like the president, loves golf. But the caterer said she knew this might happen and had a Plan B ready. The couple ended up getting married Sunday on the “lush, green lawn” near the home of the base’s commanding officer. And they had an elevated view near the 16th hole.

“It's much prettier and much nicer venue unless you're an avid golfer,” Naile Brennan, manager of K-Bay Catering, which handled the wedding’s logistics, told Bloomberg. “It's more secluded and there are no golfers yelling, 'Fore!' ”

The couple, in fact, had invited Obama to the wedding, but he had sent his regrets. Then when word reached the president that he had forced a last-minute venue switch, he called the bride.

“He apologized and congratulated them,” Jamie McCarthy, the groom’s sister, told Bloomberg. “We were all there, it was perfect," she said. "Made their day.”

Sounds like the newlyweds didn’t get such a bum deal after all: a gorgeous venue, a call from the president, and a good wedding story that will last a lifetime.