The first rule of Vacation Club is … you don’t talk about Vacation Club. And the second rule of Vacation Club at the White House is that you don’t ask about it, either. Barack Obama got a little annoyed with KMOV reporter Larry Conners when he challenged Obama on how many vacations the First Family has taken, in an economy that 76% of American voters is still a recession:
KMOV-STL’s Larry Conners: “The economy is a big issue and concern for folks. I mean, the unemployment, trying to make ends meet, gas prices, food prices going up. Some of our viewers are complaining, they get frustrated, even angered, when they see the first family jetting around, different vacations and so forth. Sometimes maybe they think under color of state business and that you’re out of touch, that you don’t really know what they’re experiencing right now.”
President Barack Obama: “Well, I don’t know how many viewers you’re talking about that say that.”
Conners: “We do hear from some.”
Obama: “I hear from all kinds of viewers about everything.”
Conners: “I’m sure you do.”
Obama: “But the fact of the matter is, I think if you look at my track record, I’m raising a family here. When we travel, we got to travel through Secret Service, and Air Force One, that’s not my choice. I think most folks understand how hard I work and how hard this administration is working on behalf of the American people.”
Conners: “Well, of course, with all due respect, the President side stepped that question. No one is questioning his need to travel on Air Force One or have security. The questions being raised are the first family taking so many vacations, when and where, at taxpayer expense.”
As Conners notes at the end of the interview, Obama never actually answered the question, and made it clear that he thinks it’s an illegitimate point to raise. No one quibbles with a President’s need to take some time away from the White House, but the frequency in which Obama and his family does so — and the public costs of all that vacation — is certainly a legitimate point to raise, especially while Obama keeps tweaking the supposedly indolent wealthy for not working hard enough for the rest of us.
Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.
Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!