Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Bush, With Three-Plus Years To Go, On Verge Of Breaking Record For Most Presidential Vacation Days

If all goes as planned, President Bush next week will break Ronald Reagan’s all-time high for most presidential vacation days.

According to the Washington Post, with three and a half years left in his second term, Bush had already spent 319 days in Crawford -– almost 20% of his time in office -- upon arriving at the so-called Western White House last week. Reagan, another president famous for his ranching retreats, spent 335 days on vacation spread across eight years.

So, assuming he doesn't cut his vacation short, Bush will break Reagan's record on Aug. 19.

This probably is not as big a record as say, breaking Hank Aaron's all-time home run record. And it's certainly not as newsworthy as say, bringing Osama bin Laden to justice.

Still, the White House is trying to spin the vacation as a busy time for the president. Why? In a recent article, The Houston Chronicle offered this insight: "White House officials are touchy about criticism of Bush's traditional August break, because most Americans don't get five weeks of vacation a year, nor do they have access to Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland where Bush sometimes spends weekends. So they call the ranch the Western White House."

It doesn't help matters when television news -- objective or partisan -- show images of Bush cutting tree stumps, biking or golfing. There will be images of Bush having sweat-laden meetings with Condoleeza Rice and Donald Rumsfeld, too. Anyone who has ever taken a "working vacation" knows how these things work: there's always time for a good, long round of golf.


Why the long vacation? The Guardian speculates that it's because of the continued drumbeat from Democrats regarding the ongoing investigation into White House leaks of CIA operative Valerie Plame's name or identity. That investigation has apparently centered on senior White House officials Karl Rove -- dubbed "Bush's Brain" -- and Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

And this is an exceptionally long vacation. The Guardian reports that Bush's five-week vacation may be the longest retreat in at least 36 years. By comparison, the president spent 27 days at his ranch in August 2001, another 27 days in August 2002, and 29 days in August 2003, and 14 days in August 2004.


Anonymous Richard Carmel said...

Bush fiddles while America burns. What an utter disgrace. 31 days in the "Western White House," while our Marines are getting their heads blown off in Iraq and Al Quida issues more threats against innocent citizens.

1:32 PM  
Blogger Chandira said...

Not sure I want to see Bush and Rice getting sweaty together!!

I say, if he stays on vacation, he can do less damage that way.. Let him stay there.. ;-)

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Evidently, Bush is hiding out from his falling poll numbers and the utter failure of his excursion in Iraq.
We can all thank Cindy Sheehan for camping out on the dirt road to the ranch and drawing MSM attention to the insensitivity of Bush's extended vacation while U.S. soldiers are being slaughtered in increasing numbers.
It's been reported that administration officials are thinking of arresting Cindy as "a threat to national security."
That's right. She has a better chance of being thrown in jail than does Osama Bin Laden.

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is truly remarkable. DO you truly believe that any President of the United States gets an actual vacation?

Richard Carmel notes that "Marines are getting their heads blown off" while Bush in in Texas. I suppose that would not happen if only he had stayed in Washington? That is a juvenile argument.

What precludes him from being President because he is "on vacation" in Texas? He could do his job from Cedar Rapids, Iowa just as easily as Washington D.C., but simple observations like that would get in the way of a good snarky article.

I know when I go on vacation, I tend to leave the media behind, do not bring people from work with me, do not answer my cell phone, do not receive daily security briefings, do not attend bill signings, etc ...

6:54 PM  
Blogger orangeroom said...

I’m sure Bush could help is approval ratings by advocating 5 weeks of vacation for every American, not only for the privileged few; or privileged one in his case.

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vacations are fine. Setting a vacation record with 3 1/2 years to go in your term is a bit excessive.

10:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The anonomous Bush apologist above not only misses the bullseye of this discussion, but fails to even hit the board.
It is the appearance of the five-week vacation at his Texas ranch that matters.
See the USA Today cartoon JABBS links above. A couple of soldiers are riding around in a tank in Iraq surrounded by flying bullets and fire and destruction. One of them asks if he they can resume the fighting after a five-week recess.

3:29 PM  

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