In a Sunday Washington Times column, Drudge Report editor Joseph Curl takes a look at the difference between how the last two White House occupants, President Bush and President Obama, approached vacationing as president. Curl reveals that unlike Obama, Bush was concerned with public perception (especially during the war in Iraq) and made an effort to schedule holiday vacations in a way that wouldn’t take others away from their families — even a media that despised him:
“I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal,” [President George W. Bush] said years later. “I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf. I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them.”
That’s also why Mr. Bush did two other things, without fanfare or praise. First, he never headed home to his Texas ranch until after Christmas, instead going to Camp David for a few days. That way, the hundreds of people revolving around him at all times — White House staff, Secret Service agents, reporters, photographers, all the others — could spend the holiday with their families in and around Washington, D.C. No one ever reported that — until this column.
Second, he rarely attended sporting events, although he once owned a baseball team and was a self-confessed stats junkie. His thinking there was the same: If he went to a baseball game (right down the street from the White House), his mere presence would mean hours and hours of extra security for fans.
Conversely, Obama, who never has to worry about the media turning against him (including lying for weeks about a terror attack in Libya), doesn’t give a damn about public perception — not during a recession; not even during a time when sequester cuts are being blamed for the closing of White House tours and airport control towers:
How else to explain the nonstop vacations the pair keep taking during what Mr. Obama calls the “worst financial crisis since the Great Depression”? In 2013, the First Family has already enjoyed three vacations — that’s one a month. (Sorry, Joe America, you might have to forget your week at the beach again this year, but make sure you get those taxes in on time!)
Curl closes the piece (which you will want to read in full) by making the point about how much this juxtaposition tells you about Obama. And indeed it does. But I would add that it also reveals just as much about our media.
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