Personally, I am inclined to give him a bit of a break on the vacation issue – if only family vacations were at issue. However, the vacations are only part of the problem with Obama’s laxity and aversion to work. His obsession with gold, the musical soirees at the White House (that are a constant fact and have been from the inception of his Presidency) should give taxpayers pause. But two aspects of this particular trip stand out. First, the sheer hypocrisy of Michelle Obama flying down to the tar stained beaches of the Gulf and promoting them as a vacation spot for Americans.
Michelle Obama highlighted the political pitfalls of presidential vacations when, during a trip last week to the gulf, she said Americans should consider staying at one of the gulf’s “beautiful beaches” to boost that region’s economy. The comment could heighten criticism if the Obama’s vacation on the Vineyard.
The hypocrisy is glaring and plays into the perception of the “Do As I Say, Not as I Do” problems that many liberals have (the Gore/Edwards addiction to big , energy absorbing and carbon spewing lifestyles; Nancy Pelosi’s penchant for private planes, paid for by us, etc.).
But the other aspect is the timing-given Obama’s radio address over the weekend. He castigated Republicans over resistance to extending unemployment insurance and tarred them with the brush of being proxies for the rich. Meanwhile, he flies off to a vacation in Maine and apparently is making plans to vacation (again) in Martha’s Vineyard – playground of the wealthy and well-connected. Even Bill Clinton, who liked the Vineyard, realized that the optics were bad since many people consider the Vineyard a private reserve of the elitists (hence, Clinton’s switch to Jackson Hole, Wyoming).
Also, former Presidents vacations did not occur during a severe recession and monumental government deficits that Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats have brought forth. Presidential trips are expensive ordeals (and taxpayers pay for them). We can all remember the Obama’s trip to Broadway to catch a show; his trip to Europe to pitch Chicago for the Olympics, but his refusal to take trips overseas to repair relations with allies. The man-for all the caricatures regarding his ears-has two tin ones.
A President has his priorities, after all.