The basement campaign turned into the vacation-home presidency for President Joe Biden.
Typically, a president’s vacation schedule is little more than a partisan football. Almost every modern president has been criticized by opponents for spending too much time away from the White House.
It’s generally not a big deal. Being the commander in chief is hard, the schedule is grueling, and most presidents basically work while on vacation anyway.
What’s happening with Biden seems different.
According to the New York Post, Biden has spent nearly 40% of his presidency on vacation.
According to The Washington Times, the Republican National Committee did an evaluation of Biden’s vacation time.
“As of July 7, 2023, Biden has spent 352 days—39.2% of his presidency—on vacation. Biden’s vacation habit still outpaces virtually every other president in modern history,” the RNC noted in its report. “Since taking office, Biden will have spent 63 of 128 weekends in Delaware and another 27 weekends at Camp David. Biden has spent just 25 weekends—19.5%—in Washington, D.C.”
The RNC is undoubtedly biased, but the president’s extensive and seemingly escalating vacation time occurs alongside his larger avoidance of the press and anything that could be construed as a tough question.
Biden rarely does interviews and has almost entirely abandoned press conferences. Even The New York Times admitted in April that Biden had done the fewest interviews in his first term of any president since Ronald Reagan: “Only 54. (Donald J. Trump gave 202 during the first two years of his presidency; Barack Obama gave 275.)”
And that’s with a largely favorable press.
When Joe Biden does speak, it’s usually in a controlled setting with pre-selected journalists and even pre-selected questions.
Biden acts as if he’s a modern-day monarch, with few responsibilities and no accountability. It’s as if he isn’t running for elected office at all.
When Biden does finally make an appearance at times when he’s most expected to take leadership, things generally don’t go well.
For example, Biden’s recent visit to Maui, the site of one of the deadliest natural disasters in American history, was mostly a series of fiascos and snafus. When the president was initially asked about the Maui fire before his trip there, he answered, “No comment.” The White House claimed that he didn’t hear the question.
Things got worse when the president showed up and spoke.
Joe Biden briefly flew to the island during his planned trip to Lake Tahoe—his second August vacation—and his behavior was downright bizarre.
First, he was heckled when he toured the island. That’s not really his fault, but it did set the mood.
Then when Biden made a speech, he used his time to recount an exaggerated story about a small kitchen fire at his Delaware home 15 years ago, hardly an apt comparison for the Pompeii-like conditions of the Maui blaze.
It was like standing in front of D-Day veterans and telling them a story about how you stepped on a rock while barefoot walking on a beach one time.
The speech was generally unintelligible to boot. Biden butchered names, made indecipherable allusions, and told irrelevant, rambling personal stories. Just read this transcript and you get a sense of how bad it was. It sounded worse in real life.
The reason so many Americans are concerned about his health and fitness for office were on full display.
Finally, there was a controversy over whether Biden fell asleep during a ceremony for victims of the blaze.
It’s hard to tell if he really conked out in the poor-quality video, but the press was swift and relentless in declaring this story fake news.
Isn’t it interesting how fast they are to “debunk” this story, but how few questions they ask about Biden’s vacations or about who is running the show at the White House?
Given Biden’s appearance and incoherent speech when he arrived in Hawaii, it really doesn’t seem crazy to assume he might have dozed off. It’s almost as if members of our esteemed and objective press know that Biden’s condition is a serious question for the American people and they are eager to run interference for him to ensure he wins the 2024 presidential election.
Joe Biden didn’t spend long in his perfunctory visit to Maui. After the short visit, he was flown back to Lake Tahoe where he stayed at one of the homes of his billionaire friend, Tom Steyer.
It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time Biden has vacationed during a crisis. During his bungled Afghanistan withdrawal, Biden kept ditching the White House for Camp David as the operation unraveled. In his sparse public appearances, he insisted he wasn’t passing the buck while basically blaming everyone else for the disaster.
He was then shuttled off and disappeared from media interviews, perhaps hoping that if he said nothing, the whole issue would blow over.
Hilariously, USA Today tried to “fact check” criticism of Biden at that time by saying that he didn’t take a full vacation.
Meanwhile, the CNNs of the world are deeply upset that Gov. Ron DeSantis didn’t immediately teleport back to Florida when a shooting happened in Jacksonville.
After over two years of the Biden presidency, we now have enough evidence to think that his behavior won’t change.
Vacation or not, the president is MIA.
Former President Barack Obama appears to be in Washington, D.C. more than Biden is these days. Curious, isn’t it?
The executive branch has never been so powerful, just as the chief executive has never been so irrelevant. What a dangerous combination for an assumedly self-governing republic.
Jarrett Stepman is a columnist for The Daily Signal. He is also the author of the book “The War on History: The Conspiracy to Rewrite America’s Past.” This first appeared in the Daily Signal.
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