As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Enjoy Your Vacation, Mr. President

And no, that’s not meant to be snarky.

Obama leaves today on a ten day trip to Martha’s Vineyard. Now, it’s fair game to quibble with some of the PLACES Obama vacations. Mahthah’s Vinyahd and Hawaii just don’t look right to some people, though of course the president is FROM Hawaii. And the constant weekend golf excursions are a little much.

But this president is not over-vacationed. Especially compared to his predecessor.

Obama driving a Chevy Volt during his trip to Martha's Vineyard last year.

The most recent reliable tally I’ve seen is by Mark Knoller of CBS News, who keeps close tabs on various White House stats. According to Knoller, who wrote just as the Obama’s were leaving for Hawaii at Christmastime 2009, Obama by the end of the year would have taken about 20 days worth of vacation.

By comparison, Bush took about 73 days during his first year, almost all of it at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. After getting a thorough shellacking for it, the Bush White House in subsequent years tried to portray his all-of-August vacations as nothing more than a movement of the White House from Washington to Crawford. They even forced him to interrupt his vacation by heading out for a few events during the month.

Which just reminds us that the Obama people didn’t invent egregious spin.

Obama's summer reading list on the Vineyard, 2009

This will be the first extended relaxation Obama has had since the Hawaii trip. The fact is, despite the extraordinary stress of his job, Obama is not taking much more vacation time than the average working stiff. You could argue he needs to be taking more.

Whether you like Obama or think he is Mephistopheles in a suit, he is the leader of the country and will be making life or death decisions for all of us for the next two and a half years, at least. He needs to rest and recharge.

And so does Michelle. Did you see all that walking she did on the Spanish Riviera last month? She has to be tired.

Okay, maybe not Michelle so much.

And of course, the president is never really resting. He gets national security briefings every day. Imagine if you had to hear about the latest efforts to destroy the United States just before heading out to peruse that paperback on the beach?

So go ahead, Mr. President, enjoy the island, eat a lobster, go sailing, hang out with other rich people, and PLAY GOLF. Take all the mulligans you want. It’s your vacation.

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9 Responses to Enjoy Your Vacation, Mr. President

  1. When he continually says we are in the worst recession since the great depression, I think 10 days at a posh resort is a little in your face. He hasn’t lived in Hawaii since he was 18.

    I’d like to see the statistics on days actually spent in the WH. He always seems to be on the road, carbon footprint be damned.

  2. “Obama is not taking much more vacation time than the average working stiff.”

    Excuse me, but 20 days would be an entire month off for a working person because of weekends — I have never had 20 days of vacation attached to any job. In fact, I have been through the mill over and over where you go one year with no vacation, then you get three days, the next year you get four days, and so forth.

    The President has a lot of pressure on him, but he also has a lot of staff, domestic and political, who take the pressure off. He does not have to deal with any daily chores, he walks around in a cloud of support to make his life easy.

    Also, let’s blur the categories a little and include all his recreation, not just vacation. Let’s add in the weekly parties, the pizza get-togs, the golfing, the date nights, and we’ll see a Party Prez who makes sure there’s lots of fun for him and Michelle Antoinette.

    Yes, rest and recharge, Party Prez. It must take an awful lot of energy to work thyself into a lecturing snark every few days and read a teleprompter.

    • Twenty days for Obama includes the weekends taken during vacation time. Average American gets around 12-13 days, not including weekends. But this does not include the one in ten who get no vacation, so lets say around 11 days overall, not including weekends.

      But with one of my cats currently peeing UNDER the cat boxes, I do concur that it helps not to have domestic chores.

  3. I have faced similar catbox “messaging.” Darned if I know why they do it. I wish I had a butler, though. Did you see that clip where Michelle said the butlers were running around “sweatin’?” That was nice.

  4. I think my observation stands that Party Prez has an awful lot of fun days that are not officially labeled “vacation.”

    As for your cat, I also have intermittent kitty peeing problems and would be glad to share info with you. I guess he pees under the box by hanging the butt over and the pee runs underneath? Or pees outside and it runs under? Need more info before can advise. (You can contact me at my email address if you don’t want this discussion to proceed as part of your blog entry on the Party Prez.)