POLITICIANS approach sport with the trepidation one endures when contemplating root canal treatment by a dentist with delirium tremens.

However, it does not stop the elected masses from embracing the world of stick, ball or bike because they know there are votes in it. A politician would dive into a septic tank with his gub wired open if he thought there was a vote at the bottom of it.

There are problems when a politician enters the world of sport, though.

First, he/she will almost certainly know little about it. The political classes spent much of their youth stabbing fellow strivers in the back, and that is not yet an Olympic sport despite strident advocacy from the Bullingdon Club.

They all also tended to forgo the delights of the terracing for membership of the debating club and the subject rarely was: "This house believes the deployment of a holding midfielder negates the influence of trequartista, also known as a maverick without portfolio". Or: "This house believes the not interfering with play rule in football is but a metaphor for the disenfranchisement of the poorer classes in society".

Thus, politicians can breenge into sport with all the delicacy of a bull finding time is running down on Bargain Hunt and the china shop still open, if particularly cluttered. One recalls Tony Blair's passion for Newcastle United which was as convincing as Rock Hudson's for Doris Day.

The politician who is a committed sports fan (and who can argue that David Cameron should not be committed) has a different set of problems. Wee Davie (as he was never known at Eton) once came perilously close to dismantling a room in Downing Street as he demonstrated the power of his serve to Andy Murray and others before the world tour finals.

Tragically, Davie and Georgeous Gideon, his mixed doubles partner, have instead committed themselves to dismantling the health service and the economy.

Chris Huhne, too, seems to have found himself in difficulty after racing Jenson Button and then declaring it was a mixed singles event.

However, the most high-profile collision of politician and sportsman of late has been the weekend tryst between Barack Obama, heid bummer of the world, and Tiger Woods, who just thinks he is heid bummer of the world.

The American president decided to have a weekend's golf with Mr Woods and one trusts it all went well. Details are as vague and enlightening as a LibDem commitment to tuition fees.

The US press were kept far from the course and the president was unavailable for comment for four days. One would have thought the journalists would have been pleased that the leader of the free world's scramblings on a course in Florida would at least have meant the Marines were not being alerted for an invasion of some very large sand trap in the Middle East.

But no. They were very cross, insisting the president is becomingly increasingly unavailable to the media, citing the lack of one-to-one interviews with the leading newspapers in America. Big Barrie (as he is known in the tearoom of Linn Park public course) takes to Twitter, indulges in Facebook and gives a series of scripted fireside chats. However, he avoids a sitdown with political journalists.

The journalist in me (a non-malignant growth behind my ingrown toenail) sympathises with them. The sports journalist in me emits a guffaw. It is hard to weep for a political journalist's problems with the world's most powerful man when one considers that Big Barrie is more available for a chat than Woods.

The golf journalist has more chance of interviewing a Yeti live on Wimbledon Centre Court than he/she has of having some personal time with Tiger.

And it gets worse down the food chain. Scrambling about the bottom of the septic tank of journalism, I may have the opportunity to be canvassed for my vote by a politician but it all becomes very difficult when one seeks an interview with a football player.

Their reasons for clamming up do not include (a) playing with the most famous golfer in the world or, (b) actually running the world.

Frankly, they just can't be bothered. Given this wilful indifference to the needs of others, it's a miracle these fitba' players are not in charge of the welfare state.