It took the storming of Tripoli, an earthquake and a hurricane, but the dramatic events of this August at last conspired to force President Obama to prove he’s willing to forgo a little R&R, after all. (Although, personally, I think it was the president’s completion of the golfing trifecta that did it. You know how too much fun can eventually pall on you, such that a work routine begins to look appealing again? Bet that’s true for the president, too.) Reuters reports:

The White House said that President Barack Obama would depart from his vacation here Friday evening, one day earlier than planned, and return to Washington.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the president had decided to go home early in advance of the expected landfall of Hurricane Irene on the East Coast. Obama’s wife and daughters will travel back as planned Saturday.

Yes, it’s only one night and it does smack of “too little, too late,” but it’s still a relief to know the president has some sense of presidential propriety, some appreciation for optics. I toe Ed’s line of empathy for the president’s personhood — as Ed has said repeatedly, everybody deserves the chance to recharge at times and the president is always the president, regardless of where he is at any given moment (as the need for presidential responses to Libya and Hurricane Irene has very aptly proved!) — but, for all that August is supposed to be a quiet month, Obama couldn’t have picked a worse time to leave 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Never thought I’d say this, but I’m actually glad to welcome him back to the White House.