When a president goes “on vacation,” here’s what happens:
1) He or she is spared the ceremonial parts of the job: the state dinners, the meetings with the girl who sold the most Girl Scout cookies that year, that kind of thing;
2) The other members of the first family are liberated from living inside the White House, aptly described by Harry Truman as “the crown jewel of the federal prison system.”
But this game of tallying “vacation days” to make a point about presidential work ethic tells us nothing. Franklin Roosevelt devised the concept of Lend Lease, which provided aid to Britain and other nations in the early years of World War II, while on a two-week cruise through the Caribbean in December 1940. That seems a very good week’s work — even if he also managed to find time for a little sunbathing.