Bush was on vacation the whole time?

2 06 2009

Recently Obama took a trip to NYC with his wife as a date night.  They flew there (it took two jets and numerous helicopters), drove to dinner (in a motorcade), went to a Broadway show, and flew home that same evening.  The whole thing likely cost $250,000 for a DATE NIGHT.  This wasn’t him taking a week vacation, that was one evening of expensive travel on our dime.

But I don’t really want to get into this argument, many people have already argued that is was frivolous, and others have argued that it was fine.  Here is an article about the cost: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jun/01/curl-cost-nyc-weekend/

broadwayThere are, however, the people that cant help but take the opportunity to take cheap shots and low punches at former President Bush, comparing this date night to Bush’s many vacations.  This article from CBS: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/01/19/politics/bush_legacy/main4735360.shtml not only takes a couple cheap shots at the former President as well (the “Number of news conferences at which shoes were thrown at him: 1”), a rather snide way to demene the former President if you ask me, but it also conveniently lays out the former President’s vacation statistics.

Here are some numbers:

  • Number Of Visits To Camp David: 149, totaling all or part of 487 days.
  • Number Of Visits To His Texas Ranch: 77, totaling all or part of 490 days.
  • Number Of Visits To His Parents’ Home In Kennebunkport, Maine: 11, totaling all or part of 43 days.

These are the numbers totaling his days on vacation, 487 at Camp David, 490 at the Texas ranch, and 43 in Maine, coming to a grand total of 1020 days.  Many bloggers and Bush-haters would be quick to point out that 1020 days equals 2.8 years.  Which, I have to be honest, shocked me that he would be on vacation for 2.8 years of his 8 year term.  However some quick number crunching can bring this back into perspective.

  • 52 weeks a year = 104 days each year for weekends
  • I get 2 weeks vacation a year (as do most people) = 14 days each year for vacations
  • I also get 17 days each year for holidays (Christmas, Labor day, Memorial day, etc.) = 17 days each year
  • I’m going to leave out sick days for calculations (12 a year)

So, each year I am not working (104+14+17 = 135) 135 of the 365 days.  Multiply that by 8 for an 8 year period and you get 1080 days.  That’s 2.96 years in that 8 year period that I’m not working.  That’s 60 more days that Bush took for vacation in his 8 years, and I think I can assume that being the President would be quite stressful, and that vacations are necessary.

Anyway, don’t be so quick to point fingers without thinking first.  I think there is something different between the President taking a week vacation to Camp David (which I already said is necessary every now and then) and using the same resources (tax payer’s $$$) for a one night joy ride to NYC.  I think it is also safe to assume that there are plenty of theaters within driving distance of the White House, that President Obama could have taken his wife to, especially after scolding the automobile exec’s about their private planes.

That’s my $0.02




One response

29 06 2009

Your comparing apples to oranges… after all as an engineer I wasn’t elected and tax payers don’t pay my salary.

For example compare presidents to other presidents

Carter 79 days off

Bill Clinton spent 152 days

Ronald Reagan spent 335 days

Bush Sr. took 543 vacation days

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