Thursday, January 22, 2009

Getting Things Done

According to this post by CBS News, now former President Bush (W) managed to spend a third of his presidency on vacation. 487 days at Camp David and 490 days in Crawford is a total of 977 days. 977/2922 is 33.44% of his time as President on vacation.

Now I know that he is always the President, whether he is in DC or on his ranch, even so--he now holds the dubious record (or Dubya-est record) of the most vacation days taken by a president. He surpassed Reagan's previous mark (866 days) but daddy Bush managed 543 days in a single four year term.

So the last three Republican presidents managed to rack up a total of 2,386 vacation days (over 6.5 years) out of 20 years. The last two Democrats in office managed just 231 vacation days in 12 years. Carter had 79 days in a four year term and Clinton had 152 days in his eight years. No wonder the Democrats are considered the "working man's" party.

Some of the vacation highlights from President Bush include:

Mike Allen wrote in The Washington Post in August of 2001, as Bush's first long Crawford vacation wrapped up: "The length of the trip revived old questions about Bush's work ethic." Of course, no one knew at the time that Bush had, during the first week of that vacation, waved off the now-famous memo specifically for the president titled " Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US." According to author Ron Suskind, Bush heard his CIA briefer out -- then told him, "All right. You've covered your ass, now."

Sheryl Gay Stolberg wrote in the New York Times in August 2006 that Bush was actually cutting short his time in Crawford that summer for symbolic purposes. "Last August . . . began with highly publicized protests by [Cindy] Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq, and ended with the image of the president on vacation while New Orleans drowned, an image that helped start his slide in popularity."

In my (Dan Froomkin) May 8, 2006, column, "
Would Bush Rather Be Fishing?", I wondered if Bush doesn't really enjoy his day job. A few days earlier, when asked by a German tabloid to name the most wonderful moment of his presidency, Bush said it came while he was on vacation, fishing on his private lake.

Maybe we should be thankful that he was on vacation as much as he was. Can you imagine the damage that he could have done with another 3 years at his desk? One late night comedian joked that the Supreme Court was considering allowing him to run for another term given the amount of time that he was on vacation!

I thought that it was interesting that FOX News made a big deal of President Obama taking off his jacket when getting to work in the Oval Office. Apparently you had to have a suit jacket on in the Oval Office for the past eight years. No rolling up your sleeves and getting to work in the Bush White House!

I just wish that President Obama would trash the stimulus package. It should be obvious that borrowing money to pump into failing businesses doesn't work--at least it hasn't worked so far. Let the economy correct itself. The market will bottom out, the badly managed businesses will fail, new people will step up to fill the needs of the public (hopefully having learned something from the previous failures) and we (along with the rest of the world) will survive the crisis.

Sorry for the rant. I feel better now.
Looking for better days ahead (even though they may be many days in the future!)



Bilbo said...

Yes, be thankful that W was on vacation that much!

As for the stimulus package, I don't think anyone really understands the interconnected elements of the economy enough to decide what will provide a stimulus. Giving money to the banks doesn't work, since they're afraid to lend it back out. Bailing out industries doesn't work, because in the long run they're still stuck with the conditions that left them in the tank in the first place. Giving big tax cuts to everybody just means the govt has to borrow more money...which means there's less money for everyone else to borrow...which means that the federal budget now is burdened with huge interest payments as well as the original principal, and that the repayment can gets kicked down the road to our grandchildren. I'd say we need an economic summit of really smart economists to figure it all out...but I don't think there are any really smart economists. We're screwed.

Sicilian said...

Well I sure did not know all that news about Dub's vacation. I kind of think it didn't matter if he was in Crawford or the White House. . . . still was not making very good decisions.
We in Central Texas are a bit upset that Bush put his library in Dallas, and then he decided to make that his home. It kind of solidified the idea that he really isn't a Texan with a home and roots. He is an east coast educated man who spent most of his life on that side of the world who conviently used us to become govenor and then a two term sorry president.

Mike said...

"run for another term given the amount of time that he was on vacation!"


I totally missed this post. How'd you sneak this in?

wv - resingui