HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - President Barack Obama and his family still have one more day of vacation in Hawaii, and while we call it a "vacation", political experts say modern Presidents are never totally on a holiday. Nope, the Commander-in-Chief still does plenty of work behind-the-scenes.
We all need a little R&R - even the leader of the Free World. Since assuming office in January 2009, President Obama has taken all or part of 83 vacation days, according to CBS News White House correspondent, Mark Knoller. At that rate, Mr. Obama will be on par to take about 168 vacation days during his eight-year tenure.
Like many of his predecessors, the President has been criticized for taking extended time off – and for spending millions on, among other things, transportation, staffing, and security. Political experts say criticism comes with the territory.
"There are some people, who are not supporters of the President, who resent him going to such a beautiful place, in part, at taxpayer expense," explains Knoller, who's been covering the White House for almost 40 years. "And so, that's part of the reason why there is resentment but, you know, it's not really fair to begrudge a President some time off."
It's nothing new. Franklin Roosevelt was judged for spending too much time aboard his Presidential yacht, the USS Potomac. Theodore Roosevelt was said to have left Washington, DC for months at a time, and our fourth President, James Madison, took a four month vacation back in 1816.
Here's how Mr. Obama stacks up against more recent Presidents, if he keeps pace with 168 vacation days over eight years. President George W. Bush took all or part of 297 days at his Texas ranch. Bill Clinton took 174 days at Martha's Vineyard and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Ronald Reagan vacationed 349 days at his California ranch over eight years.
President Obama is also not the first to cut a vacation short. Reagan did it in 1983, Clinton in 1993 and 1998, and Bush, in 2005, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. To be fair, no President really takes a vacation. "The job is there in the golf cart with him. It never really leaves him," says Knoller.
Their days off are still filled with briefings and other executive decisions, but maybe, they get to sleep in a little.