Eight months into President George W. Bush’s second term, the Washington Post wrote that Bush’s frequent trips to his Texas ranch symbolized “a lackadaisical approach to the world’s most important day job” and gleefully noted that Bush was intent on setting the record for being on “vacation”–or away from Washington, D.C.–for the most number of days of any president.
But when President Barack Obama vacations in Hawaii, sets up a fantasy golf vacation for himself with Butch Harmon and Tiger Woods, averages more than a vacation a month in 2013 while purporting to be a man of the people and demanding the rich pay their fair share, and playing sequester politics by shutting down White House tours, the mainstream media is silent.
And while Bush spent more time outside of Washington than Obama, it is also worth nothing that nearly all of Bush’s vacations were trips back to his Texas ranch or family vacation homes in Maine.
The Post, in 2005, conceded that Bush’s vacations–unlike Obama’s–were not lavish and he did not “make time for fun.”
“Bush rarely takes the type of vacation one would consider exotic — or, to some, even appealing,” the Post wrote. “His notion of relaxation is chopping cedar on his ranch or mountain biking through rough terrain, all in 100-degree-plus temperatures in dusty Texas where crickets are known to roast on the summer pavement. He seems to relish the idea of exposing aides and reporters to the hothouse environment.”
Obama, on the other hand, has traveled to Hawaii every winter. The Obama daughters are vacationing at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas this week with a full Secret Service detail, as Breitbart News reported, even as the White House claimed they could not afford to pay Secret Service agents to continue the popular White House tours for other students who are on their spring vacations in Washington, D.C.
The Obamas have gone to Martha’s Vineyard multiple times while the country was in recession and Americans were struggling to find jobs. Michelle Obama has taken a whirlwind trip to Spain and a ski trip to Aspen.
Obama took 13 vacations in his first term, which spanned all or part of 83 days. But they have been much more lavish than Bush’s. His annual vacations to Hawaii alone have cost taxpayers at least $20 million during his first term. In 2011 alone, Michelle Obama may have cost taxpayers $10 million on vacations herself. Obama’s fantasy golf outing this year cost local law enforcement in Florida a reported $78, 205.
Bush was content to work from home during his vacations. And for doing so, the mainstream media tagged him as lazy and disinterested. The Obamas gallivant around, making plenty of “time for fun,” and the mainstream media does not call them out for wasting taxpayer dollars or even for the terrible “optics.”