Michelle Obama is on an unannounced vacation on the West Coast right now, and President Obama spent much of last week partying for his birthday while the stock market tanked and US credit got downgraded for the first time ever. Nevertheless, the vacation must go on, and spokesboy Jay Carney assures that Americans don’t mind it when their president jets off to a vacation very few other Americans can afford. And that the Obamas do this after lecturing other Americans to eschew high-paying jobs to do social work just adds a bit more vinegar.
In case you’re wondering, President Obama still plans to vacation with his family later this month on Martha’s Vineyard, his spokesman said today.
Press Secretary Jay Carney said he doubts the American people would begrudge the president some time off with his family, even in the midst of an economic downturn — and besides, it is likely to be in part a working vacation.
“There’s no such thing as a presidential vacation,” Carney said. “The presidency travels with you.”
That’s true, and I’d prefer Obama just stay put in Martha’s Vineyard where he can do less damage, but the left never cut George W. Bush a nanometer of slack when he went back to Texas for vacations. The left even propped up a grieving mother to camp out outside Bush’s property to harass him about the war, and then junked her once her usefulness was spent. So no mercy for President Downgrade, whose golf rounds in 2.5 years have already exceeded Bush’s in 8, and whose vacations have been opulent affairs in a time of national hardship.
And check this out, from way back in 2001.
The image-makers who advise George W. Bush got what they wanted this week: a photograph, taken by the Associated Press and published in seemingly every newspaper in the country, of the President lifting a telephone pole as he “helped maintain” a nature trail in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park.
Back in July, when they were planning what the President should do during his month-long vacation (as part of their effort to persuade the public that he wasn’t actually on vacation in the generally accepted sense of what vacation means — i.e., having fun and not working), the image-makers hit upon a clever idea. Every week, they decided, they would send the President somewhere outside Texas for a day or a day and a half to hold an event of some kind in which he would mix with “real Americans.”
The events would have little in common, except for the fact that they would be held far from Washington in the middle of August. But to tie them together, to make it seem as though the President were engaged in some concentrated activity of presidential purpose, they would name the entire series of trips — together with his down time at his ranch in Crawford, Texas — the “Home to the Heartland” tour.