Does anyone remember a media report expressing sympathy for former President George W. Bush when adverse events happened during his Crawford, Texas "vacations"? (Given that he and Laura lived there, calling a visit to your place back home hardly seems to qualify as some kind of "vacation")
Well, Thursday evening, Politico's Carrie Budoff Brown took pity on President Obama for his "vacation from hell." Excerpts follow the jump.
Poor guy. He's not going to come back to White House refreshed (bolds are mine):
Obama's 'vacation from hell'
President Barack Obama really wanted to take a vacation. But then the world intervened.
The president’s plan to snag two weeks off in Martha’s Vineyard has been an utter failure, marking his worst attempt at relaxation since the Detroit underwear bomber consumed his 2009 Christmas holiday in Hawaii.
On the eve of his departure late last week, Obama authorized airstrikes in Iraq to beat back Islamist militants from committing genocide. Then as he wrapped up his first round of golf on the Massachusetts island Saturday night, The Atlantic interview with Hillary Clinton hit the Web, sparking days of speculation about the fraying Clinton-Obama relationship.
The White House thought it might get beyond the frenzy du jour on Wednesday night when it released much-anticipated details of their interaction at a birthday party — they toasted the guest of honor and even sat close to each other!
But by midnight, as protests over a fatal police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, spun out of control, a White House spokesman posted on Twitter that Obama had been briefed on the situation. And early Thursday afternoon, Obama was back in front of the cameras, delivering his fourth statement on chaotic world events since his vacation began.
Obama “appears to be on the vacation from hell,” quipped CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin moments before Obama pleaded for peace and calm in Ferguson.
Nobody really can feel sorry for the guy. He’s the leader of the free world. Stuff happens.
... within the White House, these precious few breaks from Washington are highly valued, both by the president and his staff. After an unusually quiet Christmas vacation in Hawaii last year, aides marveled at how clear-headed and energized Obama seemed upon his return. The vacation was a mental lifesaver for the place, clearing the slate following a difficult few months.
This time, not so much.
1) Y'know, y'all volunteered for this.
2) If one considers rounds of golf a way to get away from the job for a bit, which is the point of a vacation, Obama's accumulation of 184 rounds of golf, at 4 hours per round (736 hours), counts for over one-third of a 2080-hour work year all by itself.
3) The President has given up all kinds of opportunities for battery-recharging downtime by engaging in fundraising on a scale never previously seen.
4) If Obama is going through "hell," how does one describe what the rest of the country which must endure his worst recovery in modern history — even including the one following the Great Depression — going through?
Spare us the pity party, Carrie Budoff Brown.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.