The long-awaited golf summit Saturday may not have resolved the partisan argument over the deficit and the debt ceiling or the legality of the U.S. military operation in Libya. But some good came of it, at least for the victors.
The bipartisan pairing of President Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, won the 18th hole and the match against Vice President Biden, thought to be the strongest player in the group, and Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich.
To the winners went the spoils, in this case, $2 each.
What a few hours on the links provided Saturday was what advisers had hoped for: 18 holes of back-patting civility and a 19th hole of cold drinks and conversation with service members inside the clubhouse at Andrews.
"The foursome had a great time and really enjoyed playing golf at Joint Base Andrews today," a White House statement said.
The splitting-up of Republicans and Democrats avoided the awkward question -- "Who won?" -- that would have been asked had Obama and Boehner played against each other. Teaming up, the town's most powerful Democrat and Republican shared a win.
Advisers said they expected some discussion, perhaps in the side-by-side seating of the golf carts, of the debt ceiling and deficits, the war powers resolution and the war in Afghanistan. It's unclear, though, how far along those talks got in a down-to-the-wire match.
The course itself clearly represented a presidential advantage. Obama plays there most weekends he's in town, and Saturday the foursome hacked it about a quarter turn around the Beltway from where the best players in the world contested the U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club.
Obama's abilities on the course remain something of a mystery.
The president's handicap has been located somewhere between 17 and 24, likely a good deal higher than the experienced Biden and Boehner, who have had a longer time in Washington to stroll the links with colleagues, supporters, lobbyists and the like.
The pool of reporters who accompany the president got a glimpse only of the foursome as they played the par-5 first hole.
According to the pool account, Kasich, wearing an Ohio State University shirt, missed a 30-foot putt, then tapped in for par.
Next up, Biden knocked in a 15-footer to make what the pool believed was bogey -- not good on a par 5.
Wearing long pants and a white polo, Obama then crouched down to line up his shot before just missing a 12-foot putt. No gimmes in this one, apparently -- Obama tapped in for par.
Boehner, as the nearest to the hole after a nice approach shot, sunk a short putt for par. He got a pat on the back from the president as they headed for the cart.
With that, the group disappeared onto the next hole, emerging a few hours later with a rare bipartisan victory and a bag full of problems still to solve.