By the time President Obama wraps up his 16-day summer vacation next month in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, he will have spent 141 days on vacation. The president has been consistently criticized for taking copious breaks and time away from the Oval Office, something that hasn’t seemed to faze him one iota.
The Average American spends a mere 3.7 days away from work per vacation.
While Obama’s vacation numbers are quite high, he is not the first president to rack up a massive time-off number while in office.
“But his 141 days out of Washington are far less than the 378 former President George W. Bush took in 57 trips to his Crawford, Texas, ranch at the five-and-a-half-year mark of his presidency, according to figures calculated by CBS White House Correspondent Mark Knoller, the unofficial historian and statistician of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” reports the Washington Examiner.
Almost every presidential administration defends the time a president takes for vacation days, as the president is always traveling with key staff members and has direct lines of communications in case an important issue arises.
Those who criticize President Obama for his vacations say that his vacations are different than those taken by George Bush, who mostly traveled to his ranch in Texas.
“Any American would understand that sending the president and Secret Service to a small Texas town is a lot cheaper than an ostentatious vacation in Martha’s Vineyard and Hawaii. Here we have a president who is oblivious to the costs of his unnecessary travel,” said Tom Fitton, the president for the taxpayer watchdog group, Judicial Watch.
Judicial Watch has sued the Obama administration over its use of public funds to send the Obama family on vacations around the world.
While the costs of President Obama’s trip certainly is cause for concern, that is not the primary problem, as Obama seemingly chooses inappropriate times to go golfing. The president has spent many a day on vacation while international affairs go unattended.
President Obama has been criticized for proving to be absent during a crisis in much the same way George Bush was lambasted for his lack of leadership during Hurricane Katrina.
Vacations have been a topic of much derision for the past two administrations, and with all of the criticism that Obama is receiving for his trips, one would think that he would scale back his leisure time until he is out of office.