As the summer winds down, there are few stories sure to come out of the beltway griping. Predictably, the uproar over whether or not the President is taking too much time off has been a staple of Washington talk for years, but as the chatter builds I had to wonder- how does President Obama’s vacation taking stack up compared to his predecessors?

Luckily, there are seasoned journalists who track this sort of thing:

How does the number of vacation days the president has spent compare to his predecessors? CBS Radio’s Mark Knoller has kept track of presidential vacations for years and supplied the data.

So far, President Obama has taken 61 vacation days after 31 months in office. At this point in their presidencies, George W. Bush had spent 180 days at his ranch where his staff often joined him for meetings. And Ronald Reagan had taken 112 vacation days at his ranch. Among recent presidents, Bill Clinton took the least time off — 28 days.


So what have we learned from the data? Well, for one, that there will probably be a bigger slacker in the Oval Office than President George W. Bush. Still, NPR points out that while the right wing has been quick to make the President’s annual vacation into a political debate- Obama isn’t the only one taking a break from Washington:

The president isn’t the only one taking a break this summer. Most lawmakers left town in early August, right after reaching a deal with the White House to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a potentially catastrophic government default. Congress isn’t expected back in session until early September.

With lawmakers away, there’s probably not much Obama could get done on the economic front even if he did cancel the trip. And even if Congress stayed in Washington, too, there are no quick fixes for the country’s deep economic problems.

Still, I am close to positive the debate over should he have gone on vacation, did he have to go to the Vineyard, is it the right move right now will continue. If nothing else, Washington will need something to talk about while the man in charge is gone.

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  • Mimi

    I really wish people would wake up when it comes to the president and vacations. The president doesn’t take a vacation like you or I. He is still getting briefed, still gets security reports and is still “in the loop” of what’s going on. He’s just doing it in a different locale. While I’m sure he’ll do some reading, walking along the beach, etc., the president’s vacation is not like a civilian’s vacation at all.

    BTW, with the exception of Michael Moore, was there anyone so vocal about W. taking all that time off at his ranch in Texas?

  • Gigi Young

    I couldn’t care less about Obama on vacation; however, I do care about all those Congressmen and women on their vacations because they are our (the voters’) direct link to Washington.

  • Pink

    The notion by some people that the president shouldn’t take a vacation is so ridiculous! On another blog someone even said that because so many people are unemployed, and bc they (the blogger) couldn’t afford a vacation; the president shouldn’t take one. What planet do these people live on. That’s like me saying; my next door neighbor can’t afford to take a vacation so I shouldn’t take one. Duuuuuuhh!

  • KeeKee

    Leave this man alone and let him take as many vacations he wants with his family. Bush did the samething and nothing was said about it. Anyway…the way they hammer on Obama is sick and the man need to get away from all the crazy racist BS that Klan rallies, congress, news reporter etc throw at him.

    And that squirl looking Donald Trump need to shut the F*k up and mind his own buisness. He’s another disrespectful MF.