Even Obama requires a break

The president needs a well-deserved vacation to recharge.

Ronald Dixon

Late last month, President Barack Obama returned from a two-week vacation to Martha’s Vineyard, an island off of the coast of Dukes Country, Mass. His time out of the Oval Office prompted many Republicans, and even some Democrats, to criticize Obama for taking time off during major news events.

Despite the fact that there’s a wealth of important international issues at the forefront today, Obama was justified in taking a vacation with his family.

First, negative events, both domestic and international, are always happening. Due to the burdens placed upon the job of being president, who knows when his next vacation would be scheduled for. Perhaps when he leaves office in 2017?

Moreover, workers need vacation time in order to relax and rejuvenate. Vacations enhance worker productivity and reduce stress. This is especially true for national leaders, as their jobs are arguably the most stressful positions that can be undertaken. Also, when we consider how connected world leaders must be to their jobs, one could argue that Obama’s “vacation” wasn’t much of a vacation at all. He even took an extended break from the trip to head back to Washington.

Finally, is it really fair to critique Obama for taking vacations when other presidents have taken far more time off during their tenures in office? For example, as of Aug. 22, Obama had taken only 138 days of vacation, whereas George W. Bush had used 407 days by the same point in his presidency. Ronald Reagan had a total of 349 days. Finally, the GOP-controlled House is slated to work for only 112 days throughout the entire year, showing that the “do nothing” Congress works far less often than the President.

Ultimately, everyone needs a break, including the leader of the country.