Monday, August 23, 2010

Vacation Time

I’m listening to all the criticism being leveled at President Obama for daring to go on vacation while the country is having the economic issues that we are currently dealing with.

I find it deeply hypocritical as none of these same people seemed to have ANY problem whatsoever with former President George W. Bush spending 27% of his presidency on vacation…even during a good number of crisis moments including a major terrorist attack, starting two wars and watching New Orleans drown.

During the first year of their presidencies, this is how the numbers stack up:

George W. Bush visited his “ranch” in Crawford, Texas 14 times for a total of 102 days and made 40 trips to Camp David totaling an additional 123 days. The grand total: 225 days away from DC.

On the other hand, President Obama has taken 38 days on vacation and 14 trips to Camp David for an additional 32 days. The grand total: 70

The first year of the Obama presidency the President took the following vacations: A four day Valentine’s Day weekend in Chicago where the President took the First Lady on a dinner date and also played a little basketball. An eight day August, 2009 family summer vacation in a rented house on Martha’s Vineyard (the same house they’re in currently, planned for 10 days this year). A trip out west - visiting Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Arizona, that combined both business and pleasure. The President went fly fishing and took his wife and two daughters to Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon, but also held town hall meetings on health care during the trip. Then the Obama family spent 11 days over Christmas and New Year’s in the President’s boyhood state of Hawaii.

As many people were constantly saying back when Dubya was spending so much time on vacation, the fact of the matter is that the President is never REALLY completely on vacation. At all times he is still surrounded by staff, still gets his Daily Intelligence Briefings, and still is kept informed on all matters relating to national (and world) affairs. I don’t understand how those on the Right have forgotten these simple facts that they were SO clear about before. It couldn’t possibly be because they simply hate this specific president so damn much that they can’t remember things that they knew to be true not so long ago.

Comparison of Total Presidential Vacation Time:

  • Dubya – 977 (2 terms)
  • Bush, Sr. – 543 (1 term)
  • Reagan – 335 (2 terms)
  • Clinton – 152 (2 terms)
  • Carter – 79 (1 term)

"Every president that I know has been accused of taking off too much time and ignoring the responsibilities of their job. But the truth is, they never get away from it."
Ron Kaufman
Political Director
Former President George H.W. Bush

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