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.
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.
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.