Presidents Don't Take Vacations

The past few days the papers have been filled with MSM denunciations of the President's level of physical fitness. They've all been so incredibly snippy, and the Right wing blogosphere covered the foolishness of the complaints adequately without my help. Besides, I'm not that impressed with Bush's fitness. He may have the resting heart rate of a professional athlete, but Ronald Reagan added two inches (!) to his chest in his second term --and he was an old man by that time, so Bush is a piker as far as I'm concerned.

But this cheeses me off. It's a Bush vacation story --the kind they used to run about Reagan, too-- which suggests that Bush is going to live it up for 5 weeks without a care in the world. (I sometimes wonder if reporters don't just dig up their Reagan stories and replace "Reagan" with "Bush" and "Rancho de los Cielos" with "Crawford.") Anyway, the opening sentence reads, "President Bush is getting the kind of break most Americans can only dream of -- nearly five weeks away from the office, loaded with vacation time."

Spare me. I don't care where he is, the President of the United States never gets a real vacation day. He will not go even one morning without a risk threat assessment report, and as far as I am concerned, the burden alone of knowing all the imminent dangers to the country and feeling responsible for preventing them justifies any amount of R& R.

Plus, the Southwestern White House is wired for video meetings of other kinds, his aides will travel with him, and he'll have pretty much the same amount of work in a different venue. Instead of taking a break to go jogging in the Rose Garden, he'll take a break to clear brush on the Ranch. Instead of entertaining friends at the White House, he'll entertain them in Crawford. Big Whoop.

When the Reporters Who Cover the White House take their vacations, they don't have to take "the football" with the nation's nuclear codes with them. And I bet they typically go places more exotic or "fun" than modest ranches in Southern or Western heat.