Bush on track to become the vacation president

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President Bush tries to set an example for Americans whenever he can, in terms of physical fitness, faith, optimism and a certain overall moral rectitude. He also sets an excellent example on taking vacation.

On Thursday, Bush left for a weekend in Kennebunkport, Maine, and his family's summer compound, Walker's Point. On Monday, he heads to his Crawford retreat, where he has spent all or part of 418 days of his presidency, according to Mark Knoller, a CBS News White House correspondent and meticulous record-keeper....

The presidential vacation-time record holder is the late Ronald Reagan, who tallied 436 days in his two terms. At 418 days, and with 17 months to go in his presidency, Bush is going to beat that easily.

Even so, this year's August vacation for Bush is a contrast to previous years such as 2005, when he dragged out vacation in Texas to five weeks. That was also the year Bush remained on vacation immediately after Hurricane Katrina hit.

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Vernon Clayson - 8/20/2007

Thanks for agreeing, mostly but not completely. Style matters, Reagan was great at it and even though the media found ways to fault him we appreciated his actions. It seems to me that Bush mixes business with pleasure, world leaders are invited and show up whether he is in Texas, Maine or Camp David. I really like it that he chooses them for visits rather than celebrities. For heaven's sake, Ted Danson was a visitor to the White House when Clinton was there. Ted Danson! To say nothing of the others of that ilk.

Alan Stewart Brick-Turin - 8/16/2007

The substance of Mr. Clayson's comment is absolutely correct. President Bush is president regardless of where he goes or what he does. One could argue that he might be more effective at some things in Crawford or Camp David.

But the presidency is also style. Many Americans, maybe most, see vacation as "not working." You've finished a big job. Business is slow. There's nothing pressing. Or you're just plain tired. That's when Americans take a vacation.

When our president takes yet another declared "vacation" he sends a signal that is not consistent with the state of affairs. It is intriguing that Mr. Bush has no trouble with that signal.

Vernon Clayson - 8/15/2007

This is a silly article, Bush is president when he is at the White House, when he is on vacation, when he is asleep, wherever he is. He has the most modern of communications equipment, he can make a decision whether in the Oval Office or on the porch of his Texas ranch. Bill Clinton was president when and wherever he was, even when the fat girl was on her knees in the White House. Get over the vacation thing, just because you aren't typing drivel when you are on vacation isn't the same thing as being a president on vacation.