Do presidents need to limit their vacations? | The Tylt
President Trump famously said he would not take vacations as president, so his frequent golf trips—and reports that he will be vacationing for most of August—have critics livid. Supporters argue Trump is working during those weekends, and a burnt-out president would serve no one. People also complained incessantly about Obama's Hawaii trips and George W. Bush's weekend trips to Crawford, saying this is a job that requires sacrifice. But do presidents need rest to do their jobs? 🏌️
Do presidents need to limit their vacations?
Trump's travels have been a flashpoint for critics, partly because he was so vocal about Obama's vacations, and partly because he vowed he would never take time off.
“I would rarely leave the White House because there’s so much work to be done,” Trump, 69, tells ITK. "I would not be a president who took vacations. I would not be a president that takes time off.”
“You don’t have time to take time off,” Trump adds.
But isn't bitching about presidential weekends and vacations pretty much a national pastime? Images of them playing golf on the taxpayer dime always make great fodder for detractors—but they aren't machines, and they do deserve some leisure.
And I believe presidents do need time to recharge just like anyone else. Plus, they're not "on vacation" like the rest of us.— Amanda (@OnidaGirl) March 16, 2017
Let's face it, presidents are never really "off-the-clock." White House surrogate Sebastian Gorka pointed out that even if the president leaves the White House for the month of August, he's not necessarily "on vacation."
"He doesn’t have to be sitting in the building behind me to exercise command, to exercise leadership. He can do that anywhere."
As this graph shows, presidents do need rest—but some need more rest than others. Many say that if adequate sleep is a priority, the presidency is not for you. The commander in chief is expected to be alert and available around the clock, ready to respond to a crisis at any moment.
For Trump critics, the issue is the frequency and expense of the president's vacations. He is on pace in his first year of office to surpass former President Barack Obama's vacation spending for his entire eight years.
The outsized spending on travel stands in stark relief to Trump's calls for belt tightening across the federal government and the fact that he regularly criticized Obama for costing the American taxpayer money every time he took a trip.