Pam's Points: Presidential vacations and Headrick for 3rd District

Pam's Points: Presidential vacations and Headrick for 3rd District

August 26th, 2014 by Pam Sohn in Opinion Times

President Barack Obama, right, with Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., left, play golf on the first hole of the course at Andrews Air Force Base on May 6, 2013.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

Much ado about Obama vacations

When the haters can't find enough fault with the Affordable Care Act (that more and more users are finding to be both affordable and useful) or can't find enough differences in what the GOP vs. what President Barack Obama is already doing in Syria, Iraq or the Ukraine to keep the nation out of war, then they start harping about presidential vacations.

"He spent about a million in taxpayer dollars to fly back from Martha's Vineyard on Air Force One to take a few pictures," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said of Obama's stern message to terrorists after the beheading of a U.S. journalist. "Then it was back to vacationing and the golf course."

Even normally reliable Maureen Dowd (look left on this page) is dissing the President's vacation and golf time.

Funny, back in May of 2013, when the U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, our former mayor, was on the golf course with Obama, no one seemed to dismiss that game as wasted time. Though it must have been: we still had a sequester and government shutdown in the following months.

As of Friday, Obama had spent all or part of 138 days on vacation during his five and a half year in office, according to the White House.

Other presidents have taken much more, and done far more to foster a sense of disconnect. Remember the time George W. Bush delivered a statement about terrorism on the golf course, then told reporters to "watch this drive," as he hit the green? W, by the way, spent 381 partial or complete days at his Crawford, Texas, ranch, and 26 days at the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine. That's a total of 407 days at the same point in his presidency.

W's father, former President George H.W. Bush, raised some eyebrows by heading to the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport for 25 days right after deploying the American military during the first Iraq War in 1990.

Bill Clinton spent all or part of 174 days on vacation. Of those, 100 days were summers in Martha's Vineyard or Jackson Hole, Wyo.

And Ronald Reagan spent all or part of 349 days at his ranch in Santa Barbara, Calif., according to CBS News reporter Mark Knoller's widely respected record keeping on the presidency.

As for the golf, Dwight Eisenhower played almost 800 rounds during his eight-year presidency, according to a study of his daily itinerary cited in Golf Digest -- many times what Obama has played.

Woodrow Wilson played nearly 1,200 rounds during his two terms. Wilson "played more rounds of golf than any president in history," said Wilson's biographer, A. Scott Berg.

Mary Headrick needs your support

Dr. Mary Headrick officially began her Chattanooga campaign for the 3rd Congressional District on Monday at the Tennessee Riverpark.

Headrick, a Democrat, hopes to oust tea-party Republican Sen. Chuck Fleischmann. Between now and November, find a way to meet her or hear what she has to say. She is a strong thinker, and she is not afraid to hard work and compromise.

Let's help her win.