Obama Should Fly or Even Swim to the White House ASAP!
OK, the header is a bit hyperbolic, but even lefties are shuttering at Obama’s very relaxed reaction to the Christmas Day failed terror attempt. They wonder why he hasn’t flown back to D.C. or made a very public statement. Moderate, and remorseful, Obama voter, Ann Althouse is pretty adamant that he needs to get back to the White House. There is a lot of substance in her post (and a pretty embarrassing Bush clip as well) so go read the whole thing. I, on the other hand, am not that upset about the President continuing his vacation and I would hope that my fellow right wing administration critics would be equally reserved in judging him on that specific point. Look, in the modern day, the President of the United States is never truly “on vacation”. He still gets his briefings. Still talks to lawmakers and his cabinet on the issues of the day. He simply schedules fewer photo-ops with school children or political fund raisers. He golfs. He exercises. He probably relaxes in actual daylight hours. In other words, he puts in maybe 5-6 hours of “work” instead of the 10-14 hours they typically do. Obama is no different than Bush or Clinton or anyone else on this point. If the president can handle the president’s business from 30,000 ft he can certainly do so from Hawaii.
Althouse raises the issue of the costs and the carbon footprint of these “mobile White Houses” and that’s a valid question. I know that Bush’s Crawford Texas ranch was totally retrofitted to handle the “wired” requirements of the president being connected to the various levels of the executive branch. I imagine something similar is done in Hawaii. Obama is the first to vacation regularly in the farthest reaches of the 50 states and his cost will be more, and that’s a valid criticism up to a point. Especially from a President who intends to lecture us long and hard on our carbon footprint. I can appreciate the concerns over the costs of the president vacationing during a crisis. I’m far more concerned with the costs of the taxpayer money spent on sending the President, half of Congress and untold number of staffers to Copenhagen for a conference aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of us peasants. But maybe that’s just me.
I do not think Obama staying in Hawaii after the failed terror attempt is anything worth grandstanding over. The other members of the government appear to have been responsive enough (though the quality of that response has been hit or miss). I suppose the lefties complaining about Obama’s “casual response” are at least consistent in that I’m sure they were the ones complaining that Bush wasn’t carrying a bull horn while standing at the front of a row boat in the flooded waters of New Orleans within 24 hours after Katrina. I know that I made the argument several times that Bush can carry on the nation’s business pretty effectively from wherever he was at during any number of “crises” that came up. And I stand by that with the current president. A war starts? I want the president in D.C. Short of that or something equally devastating, I don’t think its worth all these words complaining him being on “vacation”. He simply doesn’t take a vacation like you or I.
That said, it is enjoyable to see how some of the “in the tank” people are basically having to refute all the criticism of Bush in the past in order to defend Obama on this point. I always enjoy a good circular firing squad.