Controversy over President Obama's vacation

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August 12, 2011, 5:36 pm
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(NECN: Greg Wayland) – Oh, what a paradise it seemed: the President on the Hawaiian fairways, Christmastime 2009.

The so-called underwear bomber broke into that paradise. Just months before, Senator Edward Kennedy’s death interrupted Obama’s Martha’s Vineyard getaway. The Iraq troop drawdown last August kept him busy on the Vineyard, as well. It’s a small wonder folks think he’s entitled to at least a working vacation.

“Those plans are made way in advance and politicians have a right to take a vacation just as much as anyone else,” said one Bostonian.

Another Massachusetts resident echoed the same sentiment:  “You know I'm not real happy with his Presidency but I think everybody needs a vacation.”

But Kevin Durgin, who has been unemployed since June, doesn’t think the President or Congress should leave D.C.

“They should just get down to business and stay there -- and kind of lock the door and stay in there until this thing's resolved. It's a mess. The country's in a mess,” says Durgin.

Presidential vacations draw fire, no matter what.

President Clinton was golfing on the Vineyard at the same time he was launching cruise missile attacks on suspected terror sites. Many critics say how dare he do such a thin from the comfortable confines of an island. 

George W. Bush was on a month-long getaway at his Texas ranch when New Orleans was in hurricane ruins.

You could really go back to Franklin  Roosevelt and Warm Springs, Georgia.

The director of Northeastern University’s School of Journalism, Steve Burgard, says the current economic meltdown does make Obama’s upcoming ten-day hiatus seem ill-advised.

But then again, George Herbert Walker Bush had President Hussein invade Kuwaitt, President Gorbachev get toppled by a coup and held hostage, all of which were during his vacations.

“Reagan right before him had a hostage crisis in Lebanon, I believe, about the time that he was going to the Santa Barbara ranch,” says Burgard. “It's just inevitable that you’re going to have crises come up for President's in the summertime.”

Tags: barack Obama, Greg Wayland, vacation, Martha's Vineyard
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