With all the whining about President Bush's month-long vacation in Texas, Gannett political reporter Richard Benedetto takes a look at the tradition of presidential vacations in a recent column.
Worth reading the whole thing but his two main conclusions are:
-- Lengthy presidential vacations are long-standing tradition and;
-- They're not vacations.
"If there is any lesson here, it is that presidents — all presidents — are never on vacation. We just call them that, and pretend,." writes Benedetto.
Presidents continue to perform all the duties of office during these so-called vacations -- it's virtually impossible to escape those responsibilities.
And contrary to current carping, the longest-vacationing president was not Mr. Bush. It was Lyndon Johnson, who spent 484 days at HIS Texas ranch during his five years in office.
Yet I don't recall anyone shrieking about Johnson's audacity for taking a "vacation" during wartime -- that's right, that was during Vietnam. You know, when Liberals invented the "quaqmire."
"Instead of cutting brush on his ranch, Johnson should grab an M-16 and wade out into a Mekong Delta rice paddy to provide covering fire for a platoon of pinned-down Marines," no one said at the time.