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NYT Defends Obama’s Vacations Yet Again

A ‘White House Memo’ (literally) via the New York Times:

It’s Called a Vacation. But for the Obamas, It’s Not That Simple.

August 22, 2010

What a bizarre headline, even for the New York Times. How many headlines have such punctuation? Are their editors vacationing with Mr. Obama?

VINEYARD HAVEN, Mass. — It is a paradox of American politics. The more common vacations became after World War II — a tradition for the working class and the wealthy alike — the more criticism presidents have faced for taking them.

Remember The Times leading off pieces about Mr. Bush’s ‘vacations’ with ledes like this? We don’t either.

So as President Obama and his family enjoy their second annual August vacation at an isolated farm on Martha’s Vineyard, defensiveness is again part of the baggage.

Do they mean second this August? Or are they trying to make it sound like this is only Mr. Obama’s second vacation?

“Whenever you talk about a presidential vacation, you ought to put the word ‘vacation’ in quotes because you can bet that there will still be work that he’s doing every day,” Bill Burton, who came along as the “vacation” press secretary, told reporters before the Obamas’ 10-day visit

Actually, that has been true of most previous Presidents, at least Republican ones. Who, like Mr. Bush took his advisors to his modest ranch in Texas, which had the communications and security to function as a second White House.

But there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that this is true of Mr. Obama. Indeed, all the evidence is to the contrary.

Yet for a modern president, far more than for average Americans, there never seems to be a good time to vacation.

Round-the-clock news coverage and the Internet have intensified attention on a president’s every move, and blogging has multiplied the numbers, and the reach, of critics.

Through history, many presidents have stayed away from Washington for long periods with little notice. Abraham Lincoln, contending with a civil war, spent about a quarter of his presidency at a cottage outside the city

This is a flat out lie. During the Civil War, President Lincoln and his family resided at a cottage on the grounds of the ‘Soldiers Home’ from June to November of 1862, 1863 and 1864. to escape the heat and malarial swamp of the White House environs. (The Soldiers Home is one of the highest elevations in DC.) But Mr. Lincoln himself would regularly return on horseback to the White House during the week.

The so-called Lincoln Cottage at the Soldiers Home was literally a summer White House. (It also served as the Summer White House for Presidents Buchanan, Hayes, and Arthur.)

To pretend that this was a ‘vacation’ is simply an outrageous misrepresentation. Mr. Lincoln never went on a single ‘vacation’ during his entire term as President. To suggest otherwise is a new low, even by the incredibly low standards of the New York Times.

Franklin D. Roosevelt did not let a Depression or war keep him from fishing trips.

Another misrepresentation. FDR went to Warm Springs, Georgia because he believed that exercising in the waters there helped his crippling polio. These trips were portrayed as ‘fishing trips’ by the media to keep from the public just how physically handicapped Mr. Roosevelt actually was.

And they were certainly ‘working vacations.’

That changed after World War II, with the dawn of the television age. Dwight D. Eisenhower was lampooned for his frequent golfing, especially amid recession in 1958. Lyndon B. Johnson, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush were mocked for retreating to their ranches often. Bill Clinton was ridiculed for hobnobbing with the rich and famous on Martha’s Vineyard for seven of his eight summer vacations (the exception was the time he took a supposedly more plebeian sojourn out West on the advice of a political adviser).

The media did not mock Johnson for going to his ranch. Nor did they particularly mock Bill Clinton for going to Martha’s Vineyard. Of course the other Presidents mentioned were mocked – but they were Republicans.

Indeed, the mocking of Mr. Bush for having the nerve to go to his house in Texas during the Iraq War is what inspired the media darling, Cindy Sheehan, to begin her celebrated stalking of Bush — five years ago this month. Funny, how The Times did not try to put things in context back then.

As he was last August, Mr. Obama is especially vulnerable to the critics’ rap about the timing of his leisure, coming amid two wars and continued high unemployment. Earlier this month, Michelle Obama drew criticism unusual for a first lady when she took a trip to Spain with her daughter Sasha

You see, by the count of the New York Times, the Obamas have only had two vacations, plus Michelle’s modest trip to Spain with her daughter.

While one woman gave Mr. Obama’s motorcade a two-thumbs-down salute when he arrived Thursday, the reception has been welcoming on an island that gave him about three-quarters of its vote.

And never mind that Bush t-shirts are outselling Obama t-shirts, even on Martha’s Vineyard.

Many Vineyarders — in shops and restaurants, on the beach and at an agricultural fair — were as defensive as administration aides about his visit here.

But of course they were no where near as defensive as his bodyguards at the New York Times.

A big sign on a hotel dominating Main Street read:

Mansion House Inn Believes Anyone Who Has Passed Health Care Reform Signed Economic Stimulus Bills  Recast America’s Global Image Commands Two War Zones Won the Nobel Peace Prize Named 2 Supreme Court Judges Overhauled Financial Regulations — DESERVES A GREAT VACATION! — Thank You Mr. President.

The Times couldn’t have put it better. Of course they probably put up the sign in the first place.

As with Mrs. Obama’s visit to Spain, criticism of the Obamas’ vacation focuses on the perceived extravagance when so many Americans are out of work. The Vacation White House is a renovated Victorian on Blue Heron Farm, a 28-acre expanse with a guesthouse, pool, basketball court, golf practice tee and beach access.

Purchased for more than $20 million by a wealthy Republican donor from Mississippi, the farm is said to rent for $35,000 to $50,000 a week — an expense the Obamas are covering personally, the White House said

And we believe the Obamas are paying for it, too.

For Mr. Obama, the criticism is as much about where he is vacationing as it is about the fact that he is vacationing. The critics, and some Democrats, have said that the president should have gone to the Gulf Coast for 10 days — not just for an overnight visit, as the family recently did — to make good on his own advice to go to the coast, unsullied in the wake of the BP oil spill.

The Republican National Committee, playing off the perception that Mr. Obama is always taking time off, called him “the Clark Griswold president,” for the hapless character played by Chevy Chase in the “Vacation” movies.

If Mr. Obama can’t stand the heat, he should get off the golf course.

Counting the time here, Mr. Obama will have vacationed for 48 days as president, or nearly seven weeks, according to Mark Knoller, a longtime White House correspondent for CBS News who keeps records on the vacation days of presidents. At this point in his presidency, George W. Bush was midway through a 27-day stay at his Crawford ranch that would bring his time there to 115 days — or more than 16 weeks.

Mr. Knoller is the walking epitome of a Democrat stooge. (And speaking of Cindy Sheehan, Mr. Knoller is the same ‘reporter’ who sat on his taped interview with Ms. Sheehan in which she called Muslim terrorists ‘freedom fighters’ five years ago.)

No matter how you count the days, Mr. Obama’s golfing and ice cream eating vacations do not compare to Mr. Bush’s working vacations in Crawford.

Mr. Bush was in ‘Presidential mode’ no matter where he was. In contrast, Mr. Obama has been in ‘vacation mode’ ever since his ascended to the Presidency.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, August 23rd, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

15 Responses to “NYT Defends Obama’s Vacations Yet Again”

  1. canary says:

    No president has done as many irrelevant magazine interview & photo-ops than Obama.
    No President has campaigned non-stop and travel the globe as Obama has, nor ignore visiting troops overseas.

    Someone said Obama starts his days at 9:00 a.m. while Bush started work at 6:45 everyday.

    Obama did say he was a night owl, who woke up “downright mean” in the mornings as Michelle described him. We need to let Obama sleep later, so he’s not so evil each day.

    A difference between Bush & Obama, is Bush hid his girls after 9/11, and met at a safe place where he continued to work from.

    • hushpuppy says:

      Downright mean… and stinky and snore-y too if you believe Mooch-hell:

      “Q: Speaking of your girls, what do you think they think of Mommy? How do they think of you?

      Mrs. Obama: You know my hope in my gut is that I am just Mommy. I don’t think this part registers to them. I mean so much of our relationship is based on our world at home. It’s getting up _ you know we have this ritual in the morning. We get up and they want ten more minutes so they can come in my bed and if Dad isn’t there _ because he is too snore-y and stinky, they don’t want ever to get in the bed with him _ but we cuddle up and we talk. We’ve talked about everything from the boy that one daughter doesn’t particularly like in school to what is a period to _”


      She has all the class of a fishwife.

    • proreason says:

      Interesting find hushpuppy.

      Hard to believe they sleep in the same bed, but the comment smells truthful.

      But apparently, Obamy doesn’t bother not to stink. Cigarette residue does stink if your aren’t a smoker. Of course, smelling bad does also have a tendency to prevent intimacy.

      And the snoring….unusual for somebody who isn’t overweight. Alchohol contributes to snoring, of course.

      “Snoring is a problem for many people but few of them really understand what causes the problem. One of the most common factors that leads to snoring is alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant that causes your muscles to relax more than usual, which can lead to snoring.

      A more serious side effect of alcohol, in relation to snoring, is that it can cause a temporary case of sleep apnea – temporarily stopping breathing while sleeping.”


    • tranquil.night says:

      “So let’s not deify him, because what we do is we deify, and then we’re ready to chop it down. People have notions of what a wife’s role should be in this process, and it’s been a traditional one of blind adoration. My model is a little different — I think most real marriages are.”

      Translation: I’m damn sure gonna make this about me as much as he makes it about him.

      The popular theory here of course is that the marriage was manufactured, but even so, if there ever was a couple who could have ever come to ‘Love to Hate’ and ‘Hate to Love’ eachother – like Dr. Cox and Jordan from “Scrubs” – it would be the psycho-narcissist Obamas. Like so much else, it just makes odd sense but only in the Twilight Zone.

  2. proreason says:

    Obamy told us he was a CEO type, not a COO type. What that meant, we now know, is that he wants to make 2 or 3 decisions a year, and leave the details to somebody else. So far, he has “decided” to bankrupt the country, ruin health care, staff the government with Communists, and do nothing different in Afghanistan than Bush was doing even though it isn’t working.

    Yep, about 2 decisions a year.

    For the rest of the time, he parties.

    But why should we be surprised. That’s the story of his life.

  3. Liberals Demise says:

    It could be that dingleBarry is working on another book called, “Breaking Dreams of the Fore Fathers.”

    The only thing this dog robber has done right………..vacation.

  4. tranquil.night says:

    “Franklin D. Roosevelt did not let a Depression or war keep him from fishing trips.”

    Heh, propoganda is so engrained in the NYT way that they still hold the water for even the Democrat’s white-lies from 75 years ago. What heart-touching loyalty.

  5. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Dear NYT,

    As regards the boy who sits in the president’s chair and vacations. He is a socialist megalomaniac, doing what socialist megalomaniacs do. Goering, Mussolini, Franco, Putin, Mao, Idi Amin, Nero, Caligula, The Medici, etc., etc.

    As for me, I’ll just eat cake.

  6. AmericanIPA says:

    Mansion House Inn Believes Anyone Who Has :

    Passed Health Care Reform…to the overwhelming chagrin of the American People (the ones who will foot the bill anyway)
    Signed Economic Stimulus Bills…which borrow money from China to give to union makework jobs which does nothing to stimulate anything other than union bosses.
    Recast America’s Global Image…as a weak shell of it’s former self, who bows to islamic thugocracies the world over.
    Commands Two War Zones…Obama doesn’t “command” a damned thing. He’s done nothing but undermine our soldiers in these wars and frequently says he wants to “end” the war, not “win” the war.
    Won the Nobel Peace Prize…Uh, real impressive.
    Named 2 Supreme Court Judges…very impressive accomplishment, given that it’s what presidents do, and that he had such a huge majority.
    Overhauled Financial Regulations…Yeah, he’s really being hard on Wall Street. That’s where all his friends are after all.

    — DESERVES A GREAT VACATION! — Thank You Mr. President.
    Yes, thank you Mr. President for all of your very hard work. Please take some more vacations so we don’t have to worry about you screwing up anything else.

  7. jimwilson says:

    And, of course, the reporter must be researched herself…

    She was assigned less than 6 months ago to be an “economic writer” covering the White House

    Lord knows there is really NOTHING to cover on that front.. (what Depression?)

    So.. she gets to write about/defend Obama’s “getaways” — uh, vacations…

    The ridiculous annoucement of MS. Calmes’ appointment to the post of decision maker for the rest of us:

    Of note: “…While Jackie, like her colleagues, will by necessity have to be a jack of all trades, she will retain a big chunk of her current economic policy portfolio. With the economy being so central to the lives of Americans, the legislative and policy debates in Washington and the coming fray on the campaign trail,"

    Oh really… "so central"

    Because Vacations these days are "so central" — well, I guess, if you count 99 weeks of unemployment insurance as "a vacation" it is certainly central

  8. canary says:

    The American Flag is on backwards at Obama’s vacation home at Martha’s Vineyard, and probably was a special request. The stripes are on the left, the stars on the right.

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