Saturday, August 27, 2011

Obama's vacation just bad timing

To be successful, good preparation is often the most important ingredient in any effort we attempt. After all, if we do not put enough work into considering all the angles, then our plans can go dreadfully wrong.

Of course, preparation is not the only aspect to consider. Sometimes we can prepare as much as possible, but if our timing is wrong then we can alienate a whole lot of people.

Bad timing is especially tricky when it comes to our elected officials. When times our good, our politicians often try to exploit the situation by making speeches or making proposals that make them look good. In these situations, they are trying to build momentum for themselves regarding how the public views them.

However, when times our bad, the slightest action or statement can aggravate the public. President Obama recently found this out the hard way when he went on vacation with his family to Martha's Vineyard up in New England.

There is no doubt that our nation's economy is stumbling and bumbling, and many people are suffering. The national unemployment rate remains about nine percent, and the stock market has been erratic.

Because of this, the president has taken a lot of heat for going on vacation while our nation is going through hard times. The media has not done the president any favors with its coverage of his pleasure trip, and this situation has been easily exploited by his opponents.

Despite the problems our nation is facing, there is nothing wrong with the president going on vacation. His only problem has been that his timing is bad.

We all go on vacations, and since the president has the most stressful job in the world, I do not think it is outrageous for him to spend some time away from Washington. His time off is a working vacation. It is not as if he stopped being president while relaxing.

True, the economy stinks right now, but we are kidding ourselves if we believe our problems would be solved if the president stayed in Washington. Times are tough and will continue to be so. Our problems were not caused overnight, and there are no quick solutions.

Since Congress is not in session, I do not see many benefits that can come by him staying in Washington. I think it would be a waste of time. It is ironic that more of our Congressmen are not under the same scrutiny because a lot of them are on vacation right now, too.

On this issue, the solitary nature of the office of the president is hurting Obama. With the presidency, we can always direct our complaints at a specific person when we are frustrated, and an issue like this makes a president especially vulnerable. People rarely complain when their senators go on vacation because a lot of people do not even know who their senators are.

But everyone knows who the president is. And the president will always be a lightning rod even on issues as trivial as going on vacation.

The bottom line is this is nothing new. For those old enough to remember, President Ronald Reagan was criticized a lot when he spent time at his ranch in California when the economy struggled during his first term. The same went for President George H.W. Bush in the early 1990s.

This issue is insignificant compared to all the other challenges we face. We need to drop it and get focused on the big changes our nation is facing.

The more we let issues like this distract us, the longer it will take to get our nation back to normal.

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