President Obama has received a lot of criticism recently for going on a two-week vacation to Martha's Vineyard.
Many people felt that his vacation was poorly timed. After all, this has been one of the most tumultuous summers in recent memory, with the rise of ISIS, hostilities in Ukraine and the situation in Ferguson, Missouri.
Basically, it seems that many people are under the perception that if the President is not in Washington, DC, then he isn't doing his job. This is simply ludicrous.
Accordingly, White House reporter Mark Knoller recently tweeted:
But a President is never really on "vacation." The job and responsibilities go with him wherever he is. — Mark Knoller (@markknoller) August 9, 2014
Indeed, Presidents must attend to the duties of their office regardless of where they are in the world.
Washington DC is the seat of the government, but that does not mean Presidents are automatically detached from domestic and international affairs whenever they leave the city limits.
Every President goes on vacation. Like everyone else, even world leaders deserve a little down time. Human beings are not machines.
Likewise, many Presidents have taken far more vacation days than Obama.
At present, President Obama has taken around 140 vacation days throughout his time in office. When Bush was at the same point in his presidency, his was at 407 vacation days. In total, President Bush took 879 vacation days during his eight years in office.
Yet, other Presidents took even more vacation time than Bush, including John Adams, one of the Founding Fathers.
Adams was away from the capital for a total of eight months during his presidency, and this was during a time when expedient forms of communication like the telephone didn't exist.
Regardless, this is an incredibly irrelevant issue and a distraction from more important matters. A President's vacation time is not an indicator of what his or her ultimate legacy will be.
Moreover, it seems that many people have a hyper-inflated perception of what the president is both meant to do and able to accomplish.
The President of the United States is one person, given a minute amount of time in office. Each's ability to dictate the direction of both the country and the world is often misconstrued.
Think about it, a President gets two terms to make a difference, while some members of Congress have been in office for over half a century. So, who do you think really has control over the direction of the country?
Accordingly, it's time to stop criticizing President Obama for something that every single other Commander-in-chief has done.
Presidents don’t get vacations; they just get a change of scenery.
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