United States presidential vacations

United States presidential vacations, or vacations taken by the presidents of the United States, have often been contentious.

History edit

Since the time of Ulysses S. Grant in 1874, Martha's Vineyard has been a popular vacation site for presidents. Presidents who have taken a vacation there include John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.[1][2]

The presidential vacations can be risky in terms of popularity and practical safety:

  • John Adams was criticized for spending time caring for his ailing wife.[3]
  • James Garfield was shot while leaving Washington for his vacation.[4]
  • Theodore Roosevelt was criticized for leaving Washington for months at a time.[3]
  • Franklin Roosevelt was criticized for spending time on his yacht.[3]
  • George W. Bush was often criticized by Democrats for taking long vacations to his ranch in Crawford, Texas during the Iraq war.[3]
  • Barack Obama's vacations have been scrutinized by the media.[5] During the 2007–2012 recession he was criticized for vacationing at Martha's Vineyard.[5][6]
  • Donald Trump: In May 2019 Trump was criticized for various expenses; such as, golf trips having cost taxpayers at least $102 million in extra travel and security expenses, trips to Florida having cost $81 million, his trips to New Jersey costing $17 million, his 2018 two days in Scotland costing at least $3 million, and $1 million for a trip to his resort in Los Angeles.[7][8] During most of his presidency, he used the concept of "working-vacations" to justify most of his trips, especially after making remarks such as "I would not be a president who took vacations. I would not be a president that takes time off."[9]

Known totals edit

Order President Term Days Total costs Average days/yr
46 Joe Biden 2021–Incumbent 256 - 382 [10] - 147

(as of Sept 2023)

45 Donald Trump 2017–2021 381[11] $144m[12] 92
44 Barack Obama 2009–2017 328[13] $105m[14] 41
43 George W. Bush 2001–2009 1020[13] $140m[15] 127
42 Bill Clinton 1993–2001 174[2] – 345[13] $128m 22
41 George H. W. Bush 1989–1993 543[13] - 136
40 Ronald Reagan 1981–1989 335[13] – 866[16] - 42
39 Jimmy Carter 1977–1981 79[13] - 20
38 Gerald Ford 1974–1977 - - -
37 Richard Nixon 1969–1974 - - -
36 Lyndon B. Johnson 1963–1969 484[17] - 94
35 John F. Kennedy 1961-1963 - - -
34 Dwight D. Eisenhower 1953-1961 456[17] - 57
33 Harry S. Truman 1945-1953 175[18] - 22
32 Franklin D. Roosevelt 1933–1945 958[17] - 80
31 Herbert Hoover 1929-1933 49 - 12

Sources:[19][20]

References edit

  1. ^ B. Jasnoff (August 2016). The Clintons Were Here. So Were the Obamas. Boston Magazine. p. 41. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  2. ^ a b C. Eugene Emery Jr. (2016-09-09). "Facts take a vacation in Occupy Democrats' post about presidential, congressional time off". Politifact.
  3. ^ a b c d "Criticism likely to follow Obama on upcoming vacation". CNN. August 23, 2010.
  4. ^ Rawlings, Nate (August 23, 2010). "Brief History: Presidential Vacations". Time magazine. Archived from the original on September 3, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-24. Not every vacation has been a welcome diversion. In 1881, James Garfield was shot while leaving Washington and died two...
  5. ^ a b "Obamas to begin sixth holiday of the year". The Daily Telegraph. August 18, 2010. Archived from the original on August 20, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-21. Mr Obama's holidays have been particularly scrutinized in the last year, as he has come under fire for his handling of the US economy as well as the Louisiana oil spill. ... He was questioned last year for choosing to stay on the elitist Martha's Vineyard during a severe recession, while in July he was criticized for taking his family to Maine rather than visit the Gulf of Mexico coast line. He subsequently took his family to Florida last weekend.
  6. ^ "Obama returns to Washington: Protecting healthcare law on the closing stretch agenda". Salon. Associated Press. 2017-01-02. Retrieved 2017-01-03.
  7. ^ Adam K. Raymond (22 May 2019). "The Taxpayer Tab for Trump's Golf Outings Tops $100 Million: Report". Intelligencer. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  8. ^ S.V. Date (22 May 2019). "Trump's Golf Costs: $102 Million And Counting, With Taxpayers Picking Up The Tab; Trump promised never to golf. Instead, he's spent more than twice as many days golfing as Obama at the same point, costing taxpayers over three times as much". huffpost.com. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  9. ^ "Trump-O-Meter: | PolitiFact". www.politifact.com. Retrieved 2021-01-24.
  10. ^ Desk, COURTNEY RAU and KONNER MCINTIRE | The National (2023-09-05). "Fact Check Team: Comparing President Biden's vacation time in comparison to predecessors". KEYE. Retrieved 2023-10-23.
  11. ^ Johnstone, Liz. "Tracking President Trump's visits to Trump properties". NBC News. NBC. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
  12. ^ Germain, Sophie. "Cost Model". Trump Golf Count. Retrieved 6 July 2020.
  13. ^ a b c d e f Carolyn Kaster (2017-08-10). "Presidential vacations: Which commander in chief took the most time off?". Cleveland.com.
  14. ^ "Judicial Watch: Obama Travel Cost Now $105,662,975.27". Judicial Watch. 2017-09-14.
  15. ^ Lauren Victoria Burke (2013-03-27). "The Most Vacationing President in U.S. History: George W. Bush".
  16. ^ Dan Froomkin (2008-03-04). "The Vacation President". Washington Post.
  17. ^ a b c Trudeau, Noah (2016). Lincoln's Greatest Journey: Sixteen Days that Changed a Presidency, March 24 – April 8, 1865. p. xi. ISBN 978-1611213263.
  18. ^ "Harry S Truman Little White House". National Park Service.
  19. ^ "Compared to past presidents, Obama takes few vacations". CBS News. 2014-12-22.
  20. ^ "Five myths about presidential vacations". Washington Post. 2014-08-15.

External links edit