Around Christmas and New Years, most Americans like to take some time off to be with family, including the U.S. President. But there is a stark difference between the way the Mr. & Mrs. George W. Bush and the Obama’s approach their holiday getaway.
Journalist Joseph Curl, who covered the White House for the entirety of GWB’s time in office, says that he got the best Christmas gift from W for 8 years – being home with his family on Christmas.
While the Obama’s are on a plane to Hawaii days before Christmas, trailing endless staff and reporters who have to be there in order to keep their job, the Bush’s took a more considerate option, and one that reflects a magnanimous attitude toward the people in and around their lives.
“[H]ere’s the thing: In December, we never left Washington, D.C., until the day after Christmas. Never. Mr. Bush and his wife, Laura, would always depart the White House a few days before the holiday and hunker down at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland,”
Obviously, press couldn’t follow, so they stayed in D.C.
After a few years, curiosity finally got to the former Washington Times reporter and he asked a low-level administration official why.
“I still remember what she said,” Curl wrote. “’So all of us can be with our families on Christmas.’”
“Who was ‘us’? Hundreds and hundreds of people, that’s who. Sure, the reporters who covered the president, but also dozens and dozens on his staff, 100 Secret Service agents, maybe more, and all of those city cops required whenever the president’s on the move in D.C.,” Curl added in his column.
But that gift is no longer given – and the respect that used to come with it – now that Barack Obama is in office.
“[T]his president would never delay his trip to his island getaway. He’s off every year well before Christmas. Hundreds and hundreds head off with him, leaving family behind,” Curl wrote.
“No Christmas at home,” he added. “Instead, the Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort. Nice, but not exactly home.”