Dwight Watt - Watt Thoughts #217 7/29/2010

#217 - Presidential vacations (Watt Thoughts)

The other weekend President Obama and his family went to Maine for a weekend vacation. There was a lot in the media about how much vacations he is taking and about the large amount of vacations Bush took as president.

We need to stop and think on what is defined as vacation for the president is not what we define as vacation for the rest of America .

Typically Americans work five days a week and get two weeks off a year for vacation. Some work a different number of days and some get more or less vacation, but typically most fit that. That means most Americans have the weekend off and two weeks each year. The two weeks is considered vacation but most people would not consider their two days off every week vacation. Basically it means Americans work 250 days a year, 10 days of vacation and 105 days of non-work called weekends. Many, including myself, go somewhere on most weekends or do something different at home.

The president if he leaves the White House to just get away for him and his family and not be doing political or government functions is always considered going on vacation. this is whether he goes to the Camp David retreat, his personal home in Chicago or Texas or goes to a park in Maine . The other weekend it was a weekend trip for Obama and his family.

As opposed to most Americans when Obama leaves the Oval Office, he does not leave work behind. Most people when they leave the plant or office each day have left it without having to do any more with it until the next week day morning. Some are on-call for time away and are stuck with working it like president, cannot forget it. Some like me continue to do the work while away. For instance I continue to check and answer e-mails from my students on the weekends and in the evenings. The president is still given his security updates, has the nuclear control briefcase following and anything changes in world and his advisers are meeting with him immediately wherever.

Given all of this a president should be expected to be able to take time away from White Hose in terms of up to 100 days a year as normal (400 days in a 4 year term. When saying he more vacation than normal Americans think about how many days you do not work at your work location a year.



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