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Who's really been out to lunch?

One of the constant themes from President Bush's critics is that he's "always out on vacation." They cite various numbers detailing how many days he's been on his ranch in Crawford, at Camp David, and various and sundry other places.

This argument is an utter load of crap, and I'm tired of hearing it.

Being President is unlike nearly any other job in the world. One is "President" 24 hours a day (25 tomorrow), 7 days a week, 365 days a year (366 this year). Presidents don't get "vacations." They occasionally escape from the fortified fishbowl that is the White House and cut back on some of the lighter responsibilities, but they NEVER get to shuck all the duties and just kick back. I recall one president actually signing papers to pass power to his vice-president once during a surgical procedure, but I can't recall if it was Reagan, Bush, or Clinton. Reagan was also technically powerless while he was being treated after being shot, but he never got a full "vacation."

And with modern communications, no President is ever truly "out of touch." Granted, it's more convenient at the White House, but Camp David and his ranch in Crawford are seriously wired enough now that he can do most of his duties there.

The main job of a president is to gather information and make decisions. President Bush can do that just about anywhere, at any time. And if he feels the need to breathe a little unfiltered air and escape from the relentless scrutiny of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, more power to him.

But while we're on the subject, let's look at his rivals. Senators Kerry and Edwards have been on extended "vacations" since the start of their campaigns. And the main duties of senators are to attend meetings and cast votes. Kerry has missed about 90% of all votes in the Senate in the current term, and Edwards is right up there. And it's on record that Kerry has missed nearly all the public meetings of the Senate Intelligence Committee since 9/11.

This really goes to show the character of these two men. They've not bothered to fulfill their sworn duties as Senators, yet still maintain the title and collect the pay. The citizens of Massachusetts and North Carolina are paying for two Senators, but only getting any service from one each.

When Bob Dole ran for president in 1996, he resigned his Senate seat (which he probably could have held safely for life) so as to not short-change his constituents in Kansas. It's a pity Kerry and Edwards don't have one smidgen of his sense of responsibility.

J.


Comments (13)

I remember President Clinto... (Below threshold)
mostlyright:

I remember President Clinton with great fanfare going to Massachusetts and Wyoming for vacation.

He and his famiy were followed by reporters as they did what they did. It looked at the time like a real vacation not a wired one per your comments on President Bush.

G. W. Bush signed papers ma... (Below threshold)
Neo:

G. W. Bush signed papers making the VP acting pres while Bush was under (general?) anesthesia for a colonoscopy I believe.

Reagan almost had a mini coup de tat happen when the Secretary of State tried to assume command when Reagan was shot assisted by unclear wording in the Constitution (which was later clarified).

This was also covered in the Left Wing, err The West Wing tv show.

LBJ quickly (after rather conveniently being in the area of Dallas TX) assumed the office hours after Kennedy was shot, with Jackie (still wearing the brain/blood splattered outfit) and a bunch of other people witnessing the "transfer" of power. An event which some claim to be a *successful* coup de tat to continue the Vietnam War and the Industrial Military Complex.

I totally agree with that p... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I totally agree with that post.

I was involved in a debate a few weeks ago on a message board over this subject, and I made the same points, but the liberal loons on that board were too blinded to grasp the facts.

don't forget Clinton also w... (Below threshold)
Tripped:

don't forget Clinton also went to St Thomas over X-Mas/ New Years vacation time. He did this several years in a row.

Jay, even if he were on a "... (Below threshold)

Jay, even if he were on a "real" vacation on all those days, I just don't see the problem with it. We all have to sit back and remember something, the Presidency is NOT a regular job.

I also agree with you on K/E, the only job they have is to write and vote on legislation, they have utterly failed in that job. That should give people some pause.

It will be very interesting... (Below threshold)
tony:

It will be very interesting to see the reception these two receive when/if they don't win this election and trot into the Senate chambers as if nothing happened.

You may have a point that S... (Below threshold)
Brad:

You may have a point that Senators running for higher office should consider resigning, but what a charade trying to paint GWB as some hard working, dedicated, engaged CEO. He's probably worked harder than ever in his life trying to get legitimately elected. No sooner than he was appointed, he emphasized his MBA 40 hour week ... and vacations no matter what. We got disregarded national security alerts and 9/11 as a direct result.

Brad...Oh never mi... (Below threshold)
Mark:

Brad...

Oh never mind. Why feed the troll?

Well if they lose, Edwards ... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Well if they lose, Edwards will only have a couple of more months, before he gets to go home to NC to sue more doctors.

Kerry will be welcomed back, and the idiots in Mass will keep on electing him-they actually seem to think the senate should be a lifetime appointment.

Kerry will be welcomed b... (Below threshold)

Kerry will be welcomed back, and the idiots in Mass will keep on electing him-they actually seem to think the senate should be a lifetime appointment.

From their point of view, as long as he's in the Senate they don't have to put up with him at home.

Kerry was always a no-show.... (Below threshold)
Jim:

Kerry was always a no-show. He's always been an empty-suit he lives the high-life at the taxpayers expense.
I remember Senator Bob Kerrey defending Kerry's attendance record at senate intelligence committee meetings when the interviewer asked about Kerry missing more than 75% of meetings. Kerrey said that Kerry always attended closed-door meetings. Well, it was discovered that Kerrey was lying about Kerry's attendance at closed sessions and he ended up with egg on his face. Notice that you rarely see Senator Bob Kerrey working for Kerry.

Same with Senator Tom Harkin. He was going all over the news and talk shows denigrating Bush's military record and calling him a liar. In an article I wrote for MichNews and Free Republic, I pointed out that Senator Harkin is the man who lied about his military record. Harkin, during his 1992 presidential bid, claimed he was a Vietnam vet who flew combat missions in Nam. I checked his military history and discovered he lied -- he never served in Vietnam. He delivered supplies in Japan and flew missions in the Caribbean. You haven't been hearing from Harkin lately, have you? I sent a link to my article mentioning this to his offices in Wash., DC and Iowa. He never replied. However, now Sen. Harkin calls himself "a Vietnam Era Veteran." These Dems are one piece of work.

Edwards once represented my... (Below threshold)
meep:

Edwards once represented my family in a malpractice lawsuit -- he's a very good tort lawyer, and should reopen his practice in NC. He was much better at that than politics. I don't see him winning any political office in NC ever again.

Or, he could wait for Hillary to run for Prez, and try to take her seat in NY (we're not picky about actually ever living here). That is, of course, if Rudy doesn't beat her in 2006. (Go Rudy GO!)

"When Bob Dole ran for pres... (Below threshold)
Roo:

"When Bob Dole ran for president in 1996, he resigned his Senate seat (which he probably could have held safely for life) so as to not short-change his constituents in Kansas. It's a pity Kerry and Edwards don't have one smidgen of his sense of responsibility."


Seems as that's getting more and more common in the Liberal party




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