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Give Obama some R & R

The media covering the president's vacation in Martha's Vineyard is being discouraged from photographing President Barack Obama playing golf. There is no access. Apparently, the White House is nervous that in tough economic times, whacking a small white ball could be construed as insensitive.How insane is that?

Presidents are entitled to goof off once in a while, as Warren Harding and Teddy Roosevelt both understood. Harding was a card sharp, and Teddy ran around shooting animals. Almost every president took advantage of recreational opportunities, with the possible exception of Franklin Pierce, who did little but brood.

As you may know, George W. Bush was vilified for spending time at his Texas ranch when the Iraq war was going south. Even though W. entertained guys like Putin (no holiday is complete without him), liberals kept a close count of how many days Bush was cutting brush in 100-degree heat and riding around on his dirt bike.

Today, some right-wingers are criticizing Obama for his island jaunt during a bad economy. But, come on, isn't the president entitled to spend a few days with his family at the end of August? Is the country going to be downgraded again because he eats a little taffy?

All American presidents are under enormous strain. John Quincy Adams blew off steam by swimming naked in the Potomac River. Harry Truman got a massage most mornings before he began stopping the buck. Dwight Eisenhower spent almost as much time on the golf course as Sam Snead.

The truth is that creative people need downtime in order to operate at their best. Bad decisions are often made when a person becomes exhausted. All day, every day, presidents are under siege to deal with one problem after another. Everybody wants something. The job never stops.

Thus, I have no problem with vacationing presidents. I want them to have fun, but also to set a good example while doing it. I'd like to see these guys move around a bit. The Vineyard is a great place, but there are tons of good vacation spots that could use the promotional boost a presidential visit would give them. What about the Outer Banks of North Carolina? The boundary lakes of Minnesota? The Tetons and the Cascades? All great American places, and there are thousands of others.

On paper, being president looks like a blast. You are the most powerful person in the world and fly on private jets all the time. You live in a great historical house and have a weekend place in Maryland. You have a great chef and unlimited entertainment options.

But the dark side is that you can never really relax. Everything you say and do is scrutinized, and there are always folks ready to betray you for book or interview money. Every second of your life is scheduled, and the days are very, very long.

So enjoy yourself on the Vineyard, Mr. President. Just don't get used to it.

Veteran TV news anchor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show "The O'Reilly Factor" and author of the book "Pinheads and Patriots: Where You Stand in the Age of Obama."

Comments

olemagic 2 years, 8 months ago

The thing is, this president stays on vacation. He does nothing what so ever to do the job he was put there for. He has disappointed so many with most of the actions he has taken. As far as I am concerned, we would be better off if he stayed on vacation and not return to the white house. Come on 2012!!!!

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John 2 years, 8 months ago

Most people understand that the Pres needs a break. But we don't think we need more creativity from the Oval office & Congress, we need plans, programs that are "effective" in getting "all" of America back to work & becoming "productive" once again. Without that, these "creative" programs will be real hard to pay for.

The Pres has strongly hinted that he is pushing for another program to stimulate the economy by focusing in on road & bridge construction to get involved people in the construction area back to work. IMHO this is just like the failed "shovel ready" stimulus. Road & bridge construction 1.) takes time to plan/approve/get budget approval (government bureaucracy at its best) - lots of issues to be resolved before work can begin - EPA (state & federal) issues, etc 2.) Soon it will be come "winter" - not too much work can be done in northern, mountainous regions, hard to pour concrete when it is below zero; 3) a great percentage of the construction workers that was & still is effected is those that worked in home/apartment construction. Well, their required skill sets (framing, dry wall, plumbing, electricians, landscapers, roofers, painters, flooring, cabinetry, etc are greatly different that those in road/bridge construction (iron workers, rod buster, machinery operators - motor graders, excavators, bull dozers, earth movers etc.). Retraining would be required. In other words, it would take another "long period" of time before positive results would be noticed. Hard working grass roots people are hurting and can't wait for "change" to happen some day. They just might be a bit incensed at the leader of our country has taken a very "luxurious" vacation to hob nob with the "rich & famous", especially when it is beans & corn bread dinner time at home. Kinda' like Nero playing the fiddle when Rome was burning.

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John 2 years, 8 months ago

A life's fact. How one is perceived is EVERYTHING, whether you are in the top spotlight or just going through every day life!

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