Can A President Get A Break?

Published August 24, 2010

How many vacations have you taken since last year? If you're a work-a-holic like me, your answer is a mere ONE.  If you're the President of the United States, the answer is NINE.  The First Family is enjoying a ten day trip to Martha's Vineyard, the posh, go-to get-getaway for the well-to-do and the famous. The journalist in me is compelled to see how this President's vacation-taking compares to others. One wonders how nine vacations in less than two years compares to what other President's have done in the past. But the realist in me has decided, that kind of background check won't be necessary. This is a story about appearances and how people's opinions are often formed by them. 

It is a President's right to take whatever time he needs to regroup and re-energize. To be sure, the stress of being the leader of the free world must be taxing to say the least.  And when you factor in what Obama has been able to accomplish since he came to office (the bailout of the automotive and financial industries, health care reform, the end of military combat missions in Iraq etc), it's easy to see why President Obama might be so inclined to take a need break with the family every now and then.  But while it may be understandable for the President to take some r-and-r, the question is, is now the best time to do it?

Obama came to power as the People's President, the Victorious Underdog, and the Agent of Change. It was a brand that attracted voters and they show their support in droves.  Certainly, the President's track record of advocating for the average man or woman is impressive and rock-solid. But knowing the President's character as a man with the people's interests at hear,  is precisely why too many, nine trips in over a year, seems glaringly out-of-sync.


So if you support the President because "he's just like you," I end with the same question I started with: How many vacations have you taken since last year? I, for one, am calling my travel agent as we speak.

Written by <P>Andre Showell, BET News</P>

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