There will probably never be a good time for the President of the United States to take a vacation.
But if we have more turbulence on Wall Street next week, it’s easy to picture the administration squirming as the B-roll footage of Obama hanging out at Martha’s Vineyard plays in the background while the financial analysts describe how bad the latest 401(k) statements are going to be later this year.
Nonetheless, it’s full speed ahead.
“There’s no such thing as a presidential vacation,” Carney said. “The presidency travels with you.”
Obama is expected to depart for Martha Vineyard’s on Aug. 18, a week from Thursday.
The president is slated to return to Washington by Aug. 28, the day he is scheduled to deliver remarks at the dedication at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial.
Almost the exact same issue arose at this time last year:
I mention all this vacation talk because President Carmen Hussein Sandiego is traveling again: “There they go again. For the fifth time since July, the first family has set plans to board Air Force One for a frilly vacation, a 10-day return trip to exclusive Martha’s Vineyard where they are expected to stay at the 28-acre oceanfront Blue Heron Farm that rents for up to $50,000 a week. But first the Obamas will be traveling to the Gulf Coast of Florida for a mini-vacation as a way to encourage other vacationing Americans to head to the beaches that have been shunned by tourists worried about oil-slicked sands due to the Gulf oil spill. They are expected to travel to Florida this weekend, return to Washington for a few days then it’s off to the Massachusetts island August 19.”
The article mentions the cost issue; Ace’s response is probably not safe for work, if you worry about the boss looking over your shoulder and seeing some F-bombs.
Here’s the thing: I have a job exponentially less important than the president, yet somehow he seems to have a lot more free time than I do. As Allahpundit observes, at least once a week his schedule seems to include hanging around with some professional athletes.
Now, let’s face it, most of us on the right aren’t all that thrilled with the president’s achievements when he does put in long hours, so an Oval Office slacker isn’t the worst scenario from where we sit. But you have to figure this is the opposite of what a lot of his true believers expected: entertaining with $59 per pound Wagyu steak, fundraisers with quail egg with caviar and salmon ceviche, vacations so frequent they seem to blur together, more time on the links than Mickelson, the lavish Spain trip, etc. One trait that definitely worked in the Obamas’ favor in 2008 was how they seemed comparably normal by presidential candidate standards, a successful couple with adorable children somewhat reminiscent of the Huxtables. No second-generation political heirs here; they talked about paying off student loans, and there was the tale of Obama maxing out his credit card as recently as 2000.
If the unemployment rate was 5 percent, this would be a much less resonant issue. But it’s 9.5 and the ominous indicators keep piling up. High unemployment is bad enough, but high unemployment that stretches on past a year starts psychologically beating down on those who want to work, who want to be good providers, who want to feel productive and useful, and who just can’t find an opportunity. I know some folks who have been out of work for a long while; hiring in their region and their industries has come to a standstill. Everybody’s feeling anxiety. Everybody’s having a hard time figuring out how they get from where they are and where they want to be. Everybody’s worried about dreams postponed and perhaps withering entirely.
I wonder if the vacation means nine days or so without any fundraising events, either.