Condi Saves the Day at the (TIGER WOODS) AT&T National

I've spent the past few days at the spectacular Congressional Country Club, enjoying Tiger Woods' AT&T National golf tournament and applauding our military. I've been wondering, though -- with this wonderful, patriotic display, where has our nation's political leadership been?

The opening ceremonies this past Wednesday were riveting. Cal Ripken, Jr., one of baseball's legends, was on hand. Members of the 101st Airborne Parachute team, "The Screaming Eagles," fell from the sky, each one landing closer and closer to the tee box. Two of the Eagles had special deliveries: golf balls that were struck by members of our Armed Forces in Iraq, Great Britain, Afghanistan, Japan, and even at sea. Those balls were delivered to Fred Couples and to two kids whose parents are currently serving. The first day of the tournament reminded everyone there that it's the spirit of sacrifice that makes our nation so great.

President Bush said that he didn't want to play golf out of respect for our our military -- why not play golf and pay tribute to the men and women who serve you and our nation? He could've come any day -- Tiger Woods designated Wednesday as Coast Guard Day, Thursday as Air Force Day, Friday as Army Day, today as Marine Corps Day, and tomorrow as Army Day.

Although the President was absent, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice showed up this morning and saved the day! She brought a ton of star power to the tournament.

Even so, where were members of Congress all week? White House big shots? Ambassadors? After all, the tournament took place at the Congressional Country Club, which has been a haven for Washington's powerhouses since 1924. I know that all the Senators and Representatives had to participate in their home districts' parades on July 4th, but couldn't they have at least come out for the ceremonial first shot on July 2nd?

Didn't anyone from the Tiger Woods Foundation or PGA invite them to come? With Tiger not there and only 3 out of the top 30 PGA pros around, they would've all been rock stars.

Leave it to Condi to make things right! Secretary Rice showed up at the CCC today to meet, talk, and spend time with the brave men and women who serve in our military, and to celebrate US Marines on their special day. My family will catch up with the Secretary and her visiting family to watch the pros and get a golf tip or two! She's an outstanding public servant, patriot, scholar, and athlete. I cannot think of a better way to celebrate the Independence Day weekend than walking the mighty Blue Course with Condoleezza Rice, watching the world's best golfers, and honoring our nation's bravest men and women. I wish some more of our Capital City's leadership did too.

Kathy Kemper is founder and CEO of the Institute for Education, a nonprofit foundation that recognizes and promotes leadership and civility locally, nationally and in the world community.