If I were President Obama, I would have to write something like this “I was going on vacation but there was a hurricane so I was late. Then my advisors said I had to make an announcement about reappointing the Fed Chairman. Then one of my best friends died and I had to write his eulogy and attend the funeral. All I really wanted to do was to spend a week more or less out of the public eye and hang out with the family and the dog, maybe some friends. Oh, well.”
I think we should actually be concerned that the President didn’t really have a vacation. Here the First Family is arriving, full of hope for a fun time.
Then one of the few times he did something fun in public, he got criticized for not wearing a helmut.
We need to lighten up. There is a happy medium between the, to my mind, excessive vacationing done by George W. Bush and Obama’s measly, not quite a week. There is also a medium between Bill Clinton many public times when he was on the Vineyard and W. hiding on his ranch.
As Susan Jacoby wrotes in the introduction to her discussion blog in the Washington Post
Why would a president, having just had the delightful experience of speaking at town hall meetings to which some upstanding citizens saw fit to carry loaded guns, need a vacation with his wife and daughters? Incredibly, President Obama is being criticized by the political right for his decision to spend a few more days on vacation with his family at Camp David next week. Of course, no president is ever really on vacation; his day always begins with a lengthy national security briefing and he is always out of touch with advisers on important issues. In this case, the family’s five days on Martha’s Vineyard have already been shortened by the inevitable political and personal duties associated with the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. It seems to me that there is an ethical blindness about this country’s obsession with working—or appearing to work—24/7.
I, for one, an suspicious of anyone who never takes a vacation. Everyone needs some time away from the world in which they reside most of the time – a different location, a different rhythm to the day, a new experience. I just do not understand those who think that President Obama should not vacation while there is a deficit or whatever the person’s issue is.
I hope the President enjoys his few days a Camp David this week despite his daily briefings. Come back and we will tackle health care, Mr. President. With a public option.