Obama In 2008: 'I Won't Take Vacations' [Video]

Robert Jonathan

Then-Senator Barack Obama pledged in 2008 not to take any vacations if he was elected president.

President Obama is currently vacationing for two weeks in an exclusive Martha's Vineyard enclave despite international crises in Iraq, Gaza and Ukraine, and an ongoing humanitarian and national security crisis at the U.S. southern border.

Perhaps in an attempt to help this president as the media tends to do, Yahoo! News reports that Obama has only taken 129 vacation days while predecessor George W. Bush took 381.

However, it should be pointed out that most of Bush's "vacations" were trips to his family ranch, which had been fully setup as his "Western White House." Not only did this allow President Bush to fulfill his duties as the nation's elected leader, but it also reduced his travel expenses.

Everyone needs and deserves a vacation. What the Obama's critics (including some of his fellow Democrats) object to is not a family vacation per se, but his apparent disengagement from his duties as president while he is supposed to be on the clock. This includes refusing to go to the Rio Grande Valley for a first-hand look at the illegal immigration surge even though he was already in Texas for campaign fundraisers.

Indeed, the president's detractors feel he is more interested in playing golf, relentlessly raising money from fat-cats for fellow Democrat politicians up for election or reelection, and partying with millionaire celebrities than doing the job he was elected for. On MSNBC's Morning Joe, liberal Washington Post columnist and erstwhile Obama supporter Dana Milbank suggested that Obama seems much more stubborn about making his tee time than trying to implement a domestic agenda.

Separately, Milbank wrote about what he called Obama's wartime vacation that "Even presidents need down time, and Obama can handle his commander-in-chief duties wherever he is. But his decision to proceed with his getaway just 36 hours after announcing the military action in Iraq risks fueling the impression that he is detached as the world burns."

You have to consider the source on this one, but with regard to Iraq, the foreign minister of France chimed in that "I know it is the holiday period in our Western countries, but when people are dying, you must come back from vacation."

In 2008, however, presidential candidate Obama had this to say (see embed below) about the demands of serving as America's commander in chief:

"You give me this office, then in turn my fears, doubts, insecurities, foibles, need for sleep, family life, vacations, leisure, is gone. I am giving myself to you … you don't make that decision [to run for president] unless you are prepared to make that sacrifice... "

According to the White House Dossier website, as of Monday night, Obama has held 400 fundraisers as president.

You may remember that the Big Media heaped scorn on George W. Bush for his workout regimen. Reporters also blasted the Republican president for all the time spent on his Texas ranch. They probably had heartburn over Bush spending time on political fundraising.

Whether it's Bush or Obama, as alluded to above, a state-of-the art communications system accompanies the president wherever he goes, however, a fact that journalists seemed to forget from 2001 to 2008.

It's worth noting perhaps that President Bush stopped playing golf once America went on a war footing. "Bush played 24 rounds of golf as president. He later explained his decision to stop in the fall of 2003 by saying he felt it was not appropriate to be seen golfing while American troops fought in Afghanistan and Iraq."

On Wednesday [July 23], President Obama is making his 16th SoCal money plea and attends a Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the Hancock Park home of TV producer Shonda Rhimes. Tickets begin at $1,000, with the price rising to $10,000 to attend the reception and to have a photo taken with Obama. It climbs to $32,400 -- the maximum allowable contribution to a national party committee in a calendar year -- to co-host the event and to attend a dinner with Obama as well. On Thursday, Obama is scheduled to attend a roundtable discussion with about 30 people at the Los Angeles home of Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino with tickets reportedly costing $32,400 each. The money raised at both events will help U.S. House and Senate Democratic candidates in the midterm elections this November. The big bucks also pay off. JeffreyKatzenberg, who bundled at least $10M for Obama's election and reelection during the 2008 and 2012 campaigns, is receiving the National Medal Of Arts in the East Room of the White House on July 28th. He's the first Hollywood non-filmmaker executive to receive the honor."