We feel that way about the first family’s vacations as well. We propose that when it comes to taking potshots at the president over where he and his family take their time off, Americans take a "time out."
What purpose was served by all those snarky remarks about the long vacations President George W. Bush and his family took at their ranch in Crawford, Texas? Did the criticisms about Mr. Bush’s extended breaks from work change the policies of his administration or its standing in history? We think not.
Similarly, the harping about President Barack Obama and his family spending 10 days on Martha’s Vineyard seems harsh. Yes, many Americans, including those out of work, would love to spend time on the 28-acre spread that sports a basketball court, beach access and golf practice tee. Owned by a Republican, the spot rents for $35,000 to $50,000 a week, an expense the Obamas are covering.
But history shows that presidents who have wrestled with high unemployment, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, took breathers in the summer. While Mr. Roosevelt vacationed in Warms Spring, Ga., he outlined New Deal policies that pulled the nation out of the Great Depression. Mr. Obama should be so lucky.Some seasoned political observers contend that the Obamas would have been wise to take their vacation in more modest surroundings: at Camp David, perhaps, or in a national park. Maybe. But our experience is that when politics motivates the family vacation — spending a few days where you’d rather not be (at the in-laws’ for instance)