Obama’s vacation days: Fewer than Bush took

President Obama and his family have started an August vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, and, with that, the griping about his taking a few days off has started. Personally, I think that presidents ought to get in some vacation time. They are better off when they are rested, and, therefore, the country is better off when they get a little rest.

After all, they can never really get away from the duties of the presidency, no matter how far they travel from Washington. And, with the buttons of the presidency at their fingertips no matter where they are, it’s okay if the president is in Martha’s Vineyard or Crawford or Hawaii.

Yes, Democrats often whacked President Bush for going to Crawford, a petty complaint that helped to poison our politics. Since Obama is frequently criticized for his vacations, here are some facts for those of you who care about such things to ponder. From the WaPo:

The Republican National Committee has taken to calling Obama “the Clark Griswold president,” a mocking reference to the Chevy Chase character in National Lampoon’s “Vacation” movies. With unemployment claims climbing again, the GOP was hoping its criticism would have a certain national resonance. And maybe it will.

One potential complication: Obama has spent far less time on vacation than his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush, had at this point in his presidency.

Veteran CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller, a fastidious keeper of presidential statistics, has kept count. By his tally, Obama has embarked on nine “vacations” since taking office, bringing his total days off to 48. Some of those trips lasted a day and some, like his Christmas holiday in Hawaii, more than a week.

By comparison, Bush had visited his ranch in Crawford, Tex., 14 times at this point in his administration and spent 115 days there. And yes, Democrats let him have it, too, complaining that he was a chronic vacationer.

White House advisers made clear in the days leading up to this getaway that a president, especially a wartime president overseeing a country in the grips of economic distress, is never really on vacation.

On the subject of vacation, I’m taking the rest of the week off. You folks have fun while I’m away, but remember, No running with scissors!

468 comments Add your comment

Tundra Dude

August 23rd, 2010
7:34 am

I support his vacations. He’ll do less damage at Marthas, spend less of our $.

TaxPayer

August 23rd, 2010
7:40 am

I recall complaining that Bush did not take enough vacation time. Three hundred sixty five days per year would have done wonders for us all.

MiltonMan

August 23rd, 2010
7:42 am

Obama will have have plenty of vacation to take come Nov 2012.

Tammie

August 23rd, 2010
7:45 am

Mr. Obama is president because the american people wanted a change from Mr. Bush. Mr. Obama would not have the job if that were not true. The continual Bush bashing comes off as whiny and childish. Unable to stand on a positive record, the Democrats are reaching backward to find a boogeyman to run against. While the people were unhappy with Mr. Bush, they are becoming increasingly unhappy with Mr. Obama as well. He seems arrogant, distant and out of touch with us.We don’t want a poll driven president but Obama has consistently pursured major, nation changing agendas that are signficantly unpopular. It’s as though our voice does not count. Sending his wife to Spain for a lavish vacation, doing a family drive by on the gulf beaches and then ten days at the oh-so-trendy Martha’s Vinyard just seems excessive to those of us stuggling to pay bills, provide tuition money and keep our jobs.

andygrd

August 23rd, 2010
7:45 am

Rightwing conservatives are just trying to shift the focus again. The more time President Obama spends away from Washington, the better off we are….. same with the rest of the SPEND BABY SPEND and REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH liberals……

MS. T… I think you a vacation as well, you have been working very hard of late,,,, it is hard to address real issues…. When you have so many non-issues to focus on……..

nunna!!

August 23rd, 2010
7:46 am

Bush was not well educated.What do you expect?
Most of these cronies of the GOP and Fox News are poor,dumb,and don’t get it that the Rush’s,and Hannity’s are all rich and get money from the Corporations that they help!!

Thats right poor undeducated conservatives,you are getting DUPED!!
HOODWINKED!!
AND TRICKED OFF!!

All for the wealth of your leaders in the conservative party.

andygrd

August 23rd, 2010
7:47 am

Ms. Tammie, well said…..Thank you for that

Teller of Truth

August 23rd, 2010
7:49 am

With all that is going on, Obamacare, a nuclear Iran, the mosque in NY, no jobs, the tanking economy, spending 2 million taxpayer dollars to raise money for the dems, his continuing Bush blame and his inability to lead, I think he has been on vacation since taking office. I am baffled by the lost souls who continue to say what a great job he is doing. What would one have to do to make these same people say that one is doing a bad job?

Bob

August 23rd, 2010
7:53 am

I like how we are told Bush was the worst but still use him for comparison purposes. And Nunna, George had an MBA but I guess if you are a fan of 10% unemployment you could care less about business.

Peadawg

August 23rd, 2010
7:56 am

Obama should get as many vacations as he wants:
1. The more time he’s away, the better.
2. Get ‘em while the taxpayers pay for him. he’ll have a permanent one after 2012.

granny godzilla

August 23rd, 2010
7:59 am

Ok. let’s review.

The GOP is talking about Obama’s vacation and cheerleading anti-muslim hate.

Is it because they have no agenda?

Ah, yep.

Sessions And Cornyn Refuse To Detail GOP Agenda, Offer Zero ‘Painful Choices’ To Cut Spending

Peadawg

August 23rd, 2010
8:02 am

“Offer Zero ‘Painful Choices’ To Cut Spending”

Same with Obama.

Noah

August 23rd, 2010
8:03 am

@nunna!!
Bush graduated from Yale, that’s not educated enough for you?
Its none of yours or my business how much the Hannity’s or the Rush Limbaughs of the world make. They earn it, meaning it belongs to them.
Liberal pundits and tv personalities earn their money fair and square too, and also get funded by big corporations, big deal!
It goes both ways. Grow up.

Teller of Truth

August 23rd, 2010
8:04 am

Granny
Wat exactly is the dems agenda?

Teller of Truth

August 23rd, 2010
8:07 am

Granny
Is that all you do is hunt for extreme left web sights? Is there no middle of the road for you? I know it’s Monday but did you lose your meds over the weekend?

Teller of Truth

August 23rd, 2010
8:09 am

GG

Are you finding more mind numbing info from one of your socialist web? Provide a link so we can see what the comrades are talking about today

granny godzilla

August 23rd, 2010
8:13 am

Dave from GT

August 23rd, 2010
8:15 am

Are you going to Europe, the socialist, Muslim indigent supporting paradise?.

I am sure that they would let you stay….. at least in France!

barking frog

August 23rd, 2010
8:21 am

CAT Hope you have a pleasant holiday and I must agree
with you on this one, Presidents may change location
but they’re never on vacation. Only the change of scenery
provides some relief.

nelson

August 23rd, 2010
8:28 am

Cynthia, I had a next door neighbor Cynthia, we got along and then we did not get along. I bit her and then her parents would not let us play together. I remember some of that but then my memory needs refreshing.
President Obama is entitled to vacations, why the populance complains is the total luxury of his vacations. With sooooo many of us that can not even afford the $7.00 fee to park in a state park. Soooo many that can not even afford the sunscreen to protect us from global warming. Soooo many that can not even afford to get out of town for a day. That is why we are complaining.

I did a little check, one of the better Presidents, the one that Martin Luther King gave his “I have a Dream” speech in front of his memorial did not take one vacation while in office, Abraham Lincoln, the country was in great peril and he decided to stay in Washington, except for trips to the battle field to talk with his commanders. The country is in a state of upheaval over a plethora of very important issues. The populance wants to see the Commander-in_Chief on the front lines talking with commanders and taking charge.

granny godzilla

August 23rd, 2010
8:34 am

Nelson posts:

“With sooooo many of us that can not even afford the $7.00 fee to park in a state park. Soooo many that can not even afford the sunscreen to protect us from global warming. Soooo many that can not even afford to get out of town for a day. That is why we are complaining.”

Perhaps you can find a republican brave enough to say to your face that which they would say behind your back…….”it’s all your fault, you made the wrong choices in life, are demanding a nanny state, are lazy and don’t expect me to pay your way into the state park – git rid of your cell phone, SUV and big screen TV”

Call it like it is

August 23rd, 2010
8:35 am

Interesting. Both men were and are leaders of the most powerful country in the world. Do they deserve a break? Sure. I think the biggest issue for a lot of people is the fact that Bush was going to his “own” ranch for vacations, where as Obama seems to be jet setting all around the planet on our dime. Maybe Laura Bush went to Spain with 20 or 30 of her friends, I don’t recall. You know the little white house in georgia was good enough for FDR, maybe our current President could find him a little niche here in America for his vacations. Its tough times out there and our current leaders nead to remember that most of us have to struggle for what they take for granted.

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

August 23rd, 2010
8:44 am

Presidents are like our children. If you compare them you are a terrible parent. If you do not compare them, your are a good parent.

Lesson over! Now, can we solve some REAL problems or is this the best you got!

Cynthia Is Sexy!!

August 23rd, 2010
8:44 am

LOL…thats stupid.

Cynthia Is Sexy!!

August 23rd, 2010
8:45 am

granny godzilla

August 23rd, 2010
8:13 am <————————–that is stupid.

@granny

August 23rd, 2010
8:47 am

”it’s all your fault, you made the wrong choices in life, are demanding a nanny state, are lazy and don’t expect me to pay your way into the state park – git rid of your cell phone, SUV and big screen TV”

Are you suggesting granny, that our personal destinies are not largely the result of the choices we make?

alatsea

August 23rd, 2010
8:47 am

Granny Godziiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiila

Hows the new grandchild? I hope they named him after me. Was in Chicago for a week and stuffed myself with so much great food that…. I really don’t care.

Dumb Democrats

August 23rd, 2010
8:48 am

It took them this long to point out the vacation discrepancy?

ctucker

August 23rd, 2010
8:51 am

Call it like it is, Michelle Obama paid for her own vacation. The taxpayers paid for the Secret Service protection.

Teller of Truth

August 23rd, 2010
8:52 am

GG

What was all that crap you posted @ 8:13? Is that some kind of a fairy tale? The person that wrote it should share his drugs with everybody.

ctucker

August 23rd, 2010
8:52 am

Nelson, Surely, you are not comparing the current shape of the United States to the Civil War. Surely not.

granny godzilla

August 23rd, 2010
8:54 am

alatsea…
after being on bedrest for 3 months for fear of early labor she’s now gone full term. official due date is 9/2 but tomorrow the moon will be full and I have my fingers crossed.

now you got me thinking about beef sandwiches….yummmmm

Kamchak

August 23rd, 2010
8:57 am

Have a happy and safe vacation, Ms. Tucker.

alatsea

August 23rd, 2010
9:00 am

Granny,

I hope all goes well. With a new addition your daughter will appreciate that rest she had as that will be changing shortly. Make sure they spell my name right. I do not know how man can exist without Italian Beef. Everyone should have at least one a day and ALL would be well!

Moderate Line

August 23rd, 2010
9:00 am

When unemployment at 9.5% it seems to be a little out of touch to be going to Spain and Martha’s Vineyard.

alatsea

August 23rd, 2010
9:01 am

CT
Go to Chicago and eat beef!!!

Moderate Line

August 23rd, 2010
9:03 am

And, with the buttons of the presidency at their fingertips no matter where they are, it’s okay if the president is in Martha’s Vineyard or Crawford or Hawaii.
++++++++
Every year when I consider whether to take a vacation. I always have Crawford, TX high on the list.

Hootinanny Yum Yum

August 23rd, 2010
9:05 am

Hope the job search goes well Cynthia. We’ll be here when you get back.

HDB

August 23rd, 2010
9:11 am

CT – Safe travels……..

Lest all forget, the President DID go to his home in Chicago…..and since the President is NEVER really on vacation….and this President is spending less time vacationing than his predecessor…..methinks that this is just another faux-controversy dericed by the “party of no”; if the GOP wasn’t so hell bent on destruction…but rather a sense of national cooperation, maybe a lot more would be getting done!!

cgatlanta

August 23rd, 2010
9:15 am

Vacations? Whatever.

The focus should be on the fact that Obama has lost touch with most of America. He pushes HIS agenda (in my opinion). He ran his campaign on “change”. I’m not seeing it. He looks like a political hack.

Tommy Maddox

August 23rd, 2010
9:16 am

Obama serving two full terms? Just like Jimmy Carter?

AHHHH HAAH HAAH HAAAH!!!

Mr Right

August 23rd, 2010
9:17 am

nunna!!

August 23rd, 2010
7:46 am

Bush was not well educated.What do you expect?
Most of these cronies of the GOP and Fox News are poor,dumb,and don’t get it that the Rush’s,and Hannity’s are all rich and get money from the Corporations that they help!!

Now that pretty well sums up the attitude of the left,” we are so smart, ya’ll are so dumb”.

Moderate Line

August 23rd, 2010
9:18 am

ctucker

August 23rd, 2010
8:52 am
Nelson, Surely, you are not comparing the current shape of the United States to the Civil War. Surely not.
++++++++
Not a good comparison but we have had plenty of comparisons to the great depression many times on the left which was probably one of the most perilousness times in American history.

I can’t believe anyone on the left would even bring up the issue of vacations in a time of widespread economic hardship. I surely would not be flaunting wealth at the moment. We should have learned from the BP executive.

Maybe a good comparison would be Louis XVI and Mary Antoinette.

I don’t begrudge the man a vacation but is is bad politics at the moment.

Mr Right

August 23rd, 2010
9:21 am

HDB— Is it the GOP that’s running our debt so high that it will destroy our country ?

Good Grief

August 23rd, 2010
9:21 am

Have fun on vacation, CT. And I’m glad to see that you actually blamed petty partisan bickering for poisoning politics. I couldn’t agree more. I really think that if we could remove partisanship from our political vocabulary the country would be better off. And I think that’s accomplished through term limits. If you tell a politician that they have no reason to worry about holding on to their power, then they might actually serve the people instead of remaining in near-constant campaign mode.

You Asked

August 23rd, 2010
9:29 am

Obama Vacations = big deal.
Bush Vacations = big deal.

Its not like the President is ever “off the clock” anyway. Who cares if they bring the oval office to Martha’s Vinyard when congress is out of session?

Must be a slow news day.

Call it like it is

August 23rd, 2010
9:30 am

“Call it like it is, Michelle Obama paid for her own vacation. The taxpayers paid for the Secret Service protection.”

Thats fine Cynthia, its her money and she can do as she wishes, but lets dont play games. If she was paying out of pocket for her and her daughters ticket, food and one hotel room so be it. You know or should know that thousands of the tax payers money was spent on that trip. And of course your dodging the issue, was this the best action for the first lady with so many Americans out of work?

If you think so fine. I just wonder if you would be of the same opinion if another first wife was doing the same thing.

Kamchak

August 23rd, 2010
9:33 am

I really think that if we could remove partisanship from our political vocabulary the country would be better off.

Absolutely.

But after thirty some odd years of talk-radio and you are only now whinging about partisan political vocabulary?

Kinda late to the party, dontcha think?

Libertarian

August 23rd, 2010
9:34 am

Who cares? They all take too much vacation in my opinion. Presidents and congress. Most non-government workers never get to take 10 days or 2 weeks off at a time. Typical government waste.

paleo-neo-Carlinist

August 23rd, 2010
9:37 am

I’m gonna go off the reservation here, but I think we need to amend the Constitution to mandate NO vacations for the President. every President has the Camp David time share. let’s be honest, if you can’t focus on being the leader of the free world for 4 years, go back to the private sector and negotiate your 4-6 weeks, and other perqs. and this is not some partisan nonsense. I suggested as much when Dick Cheney shot his friend in the face while quail hunting. as I noted back then, al Qeada “leaders” don’t have time to hunt and fish. Cheney et al should have been hunting bad guys. and I won’t even mention Congress; their job is a “vacation” from whatever private sector employment they held prior to being elected. Obama had a chance to actually demonstrate “change” from the “business as usual” stuff, but it is same old same old. send the wife and kids to Spain, the Gulf, Hawai’i, or whatever, but I haven’t had a vacation in 4 years ’cause I got work to to.