All U.S. presidents have had their leisure activities. Demanding though the job of chief executive may be, presidents have found time to indulge one form of recreation or another.
For some it’s been golf. For some it’s been boating or hunting or whatever. For George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, it was visits to their ranches where they spent time clearing brush.
Actually, Bush was perhaps the most leisure-prone chief executive we’ve ever had. In eight years as president, he:
– Visited his Texas ranch 77 times for a total of 490 days;
– Visited Camp David 149 times for a total of 487 days;
– Visited his parents home in Kennebunkport, Maine, 11 times for a total of 43 days;
– Attended 338 political fundraisers;
– Attended 98 sporting events (and that’s counting the Beijing Olympics as only one event);
– And played 24 rounds of golf.
To his credit, however, he did manage to attend 49 Cabinet meetings. That’s about one every two months.
And yet, in his public declarations, Bush made countless references to he and his people “working hard” and doing “hard work.” In one appearance in 2004, he used those terms no less than 11 times.
Barack Obama’s leisure activities include following professional and amateur sports. He’s an avid basketball fan, for example, which annually prompts him to fill out a bracket on the NCAA men’s tournament.
And every time he does that, his right-wing critics raise a big fuss about how he spends too much time on basketball brackets and not enough on his job.
In this regard, the wingnut pack is led this year by Reince Priebus, the new chairman of the Republican National Committee — as we see HERE.