Originally posted at BIG Government
In reaction to the criticism over the Obama family heading to Martha’s Vineyard amidst gargantuan economic woes and unemployment rates so high even the dead are disturbed, liberals have taken to defending Obama’s vacation time (transportation compliments of two tax-payer funded jets) by portraying George W. Bush as a man who never worked.
According to Obama’s defenders, Bush vacation days were disproportionately greater when compared to Barack “nose-to-the-grindstone” Obama’s. The left argues that Obama has earned 10 days in a haven for multimillionaires because Bush spent eight years in perpetual party mode.
Mr. Bush did spend time on “vacation.” But Obama and Michelle closing down Bar Harbor, Maine to dine in upscale restaurants with a “Latin flair” is quite different from G.W. fishing on his family’s estate in Kennebunkport prior to hosting a “Lobster Summit” for Vladimir Putin.
According to CBS reporter Mark Knoller, a vacationing President Bush would go into town for an annual cheeseburger. On the other hand, every chance he gets, Barack relaxes seaside, sipping sunset cocktails and eating lobster while the Secret Service keep peons at bay.
Maybe scorekeepers could refresh America’s memory and cite the instance when Mr. and Mrs. Bush nearly brought the Big Apple to a halt while they leisurely took in dinner and a show.
Intermittently, George W. did head home to conduct business from the “Western White House” in Crawford, Texas. For fun, Mr. Bush would be seen with a “power saw in his hand going after brush and dead trees.” President Obama has got to know that no one would condemn a decision to head home to his Tony Rezko-acquired property on South Greenwood Avenue in Chicago, instead of his $4,000 a night “Winter White House” in Hawaii.
Moreover, is there a liberal apologist honest enough to calculate the difference between Bush floating around in his father’s row boat in Maine and the untold millions Obama spent, mixing business with pleasure, on a 250-person, GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt-enhanced traveling entourage that reserved 500 rooms in the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai?
During his tenure, Bush was regularly criticized for making 77 visits to Prairie Chapel Ranch. What detractors rarely mention is the former president voluntarily doing double-duty by entertaining 19 world leaders in his home. For those keeping track, that averages to be 2.375 working vacations a year.
Some other notables feted at Mr. Bush’s heartland ranch were: Tony Blair; Putin and his pectorals; King Abdullah; Australian and Italian Prime Ministers John Howard and Silvio “Bunga Bunga” Berlusconi; Vicente Fox; Hosni Mubarak; Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía of Spain; German Chancellor Andrea Merkel; and Israel’s Ariel Sharon.
On the other hand, Barack prefers to reserve fine dining for family getaways. Unlike his predecessor, Obama’s unique down-home style includes treating Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to greasy spoon at Ray’s Hell Burger, a hamburger joint in downtown DC that Obama frequents with trusty sidekick Joe Biden.
Listening to liberals justify the President spending more time in a golf cart than with his feet up on the Resolute Desk, one would think Barry needs to be pried from the Oval Office and convinced to take a few days off against his will.
What is never mentioned is that the Obamas get a reprieve every time they’re visited at the White House by Motown stars, ex-Beatles, “Desperate Housewives”/Border security advisors, and Super Bowl party guests like the ex-Mrs. Marc Anthony, JLo. Moreover, the Obamas regularly blow off steam with at-home Latina cultural events and on Wagyu beef, cocktail parties, and Conga lines.
Mr. and Mrs. Obama also shuffle together official business with throwing back pints of Guinness and Diwali dancing. Makes one wonder how liberals, who define Bush entertaining world leaders in Crawford as a vacation, can consider Obama touring Rio with Michelle, Sasha and Malia official business.
However, had George W. Bush not boycotted the Earth Summit in 2002, there’s a good chance he too could have delighted poor Brazilian kids with his adroit soccer ball dexterity.
Bush aside, the Queen of R and R is Michelle. In between vacations, Mrs. Obama manages to sandwich in NYC tasting tours, BBQ eating romance, jaunts to Oregon, “whirlwind” shopping in Paris, ancho-chile short ribs and skiing in Vail, and miniature golf sessions in Panama City Beach. After tuckering herself out on a $375,000 Spanish pre-vacation/vacation and a fried fat-cake-eating African safari, the woman deserves two-weeks off in August.
Nevertheless, the debate isn’t about Michelle; it’s about Barry and George. The question is how Barack Obama body surfing in the cool waves of the Atlantic while the economy tanks and desperate Americans stand in line at job fairs baking in the hot summer sun compares with Bush holding official meetings at Camp David and choosing to spend time in Crawford brandishing a chain saw and a cheeseburger in a strong economy.
The truth is, despite 9-11, while Bush was president and until the Pelosi Democrats took over Congress, both the stock market, and nation’s employment rate remained relatively healthy. Yet Bush, who quit playing golf during the Iraqi war because he felt it sent the “wrong signal,” still maintained a low vacation profile.
For Barack Obama, whose horrendous fiscal policies are responsible for much of America’s misery, to take a highbrow vacation during a double-dip recession reveals a lot about his character. Although George W. defines himself as a “windshield rancher,” it’s Obama who clearly lacks class, because his habitual insensitivity and self-indulgence proves he cares for no one but himself.
The President’s defenders should quit comparing the arriviste-nouveau riche-Obama side show with the restraint and discretion Bush exhibited throughout his presidency. George W’s vacation days were just another excuse for him to extend a unique brand of “ranch diplomacy,” as opposed to the frivolous opulence that, despite America’s ongoing economic despair, a shameless Barack Obama continues to enjoy.