I didn’t track this scientifically but it seems that George Bush has taken far less vacation time in 2006 than in, say, 2001. I wonder if he took to heart the constant badgering from the likes of Michael Moore, who say he takes too much time off from his presidential duties. (Of course the likes of Michael Moore say in the next breath that Cheney really runs the whole scam, which appears to be true, so what is the problem if Bush is out of town?) As a result Dubya has been touring the post-Katrina dead zone and giving speeches on Iraq, even though every time he opens his mouth on either subject his approval rating drops again.
There’s nothing new about criticism of presidents who take a more relaxed and traditional approach to what is just another government job. Reagan was always sneeringly referred to as a “9 to 5” president. In contrast Clinton was admired for sleeping only two or three hours a night and micromanaging every aspect of his continuing effort to sabotage himself. And I guess with his “youthful vigah” Kennedy was presumed to be on call 24 hours a day, like a PT boat skipper. Realistically, of course, both Clinton and Kennedy were probably prowling the White House in the middle of the night looking for secretaries to schtupp.