Tags: Barack Obama | Iraq in Crisis | Obama | vacation | video | golf | fundraisers

Video Shows Obama Vowing Not to Take Vacations as President

By Drew MacKenzie   |   Tuesday, 12 Aug 2014 01:07 PM

President Barack Obama has come under fire for vacationing and playing golf while the world is in turmoil just as a video has surfaced of him vowing not to take time off for leisure or family trips while he's in the White House.

The video, released by Weasel Zippers, features then-Sen. Obama discussing his book "The Audacity of Hope" in 2008, and saying that candidates running for president must "give their life to it."

He said, "The bargain that any president strikes with is, you give me this office and in turn my fears, doubts, insecurities, foibles, need for sleep, family life, vacations, leisure, is gone. I am giving myself to you. The American people should have no patience for what's going on in your head because you've got a job to do."

Story continues below video.

After saying that people should only run for president if they can make that type of sacrifice, Herbert asked him whether he was willing to make that kind of commitment.  "Sure," he firmly replied.

Weasel Zippers said that Obama did not follow through on his promise by noting that he had "proceeded to hit the golf course 186 times (and counting)," according to The Daily Caller.

The president has also been rebuked by Republicans for attending fundraisers, going on vacation to upscale Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts and playing two rounds of golf instead of remaining in the White House to deal with growing international crisis, especially in Iraq.

"Our country's foreign policy is in shambles. We are facing so many security crises, yet President Obama's instinct is to head to Martha's Vineyard to fundraise for Democrats," outraged Republicans said in a statement.

Although the GOP had urged Obama to cancel a private-home fundraiser in Tisbury, Mass., on Monday for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Obama attended the event anyway, despite former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also having just joined in the chorus of criticism over the president's foreign policy.

Now Washington Post political reporter Dana Milbank has joined in the mounting criticism, saying that Obama's decision to go on vacation "could fit under the heading of tone deafness."

Milbank went on to say, "Even presidents need down time, and Obama can handle his commander-in-chief duties wherever he is. But his decision to proceed with his getaway just 36 hours after announcing the [U.S.] military action in Iraq risks fueling the impression that he is detached as the world burns."

The photos of Obama playing golf with NBA star Ray Allen and retired NFL player Ahmad Rashad were poor political optics, Milbank observed, especially compared to such images as desperate Yazidi people waiting for aid on a mountaintop in Iraq while under siege from ISIS.

"It's understandable that Obama would want to get away from it all, but for a president struggling to build support for his foreign policy, vacationing during a crisis is no day at the beach," Milbank wrote in an opinion piece headlined, "Obama vacations as the world burns."

The latest problem Obama has faced while comfortably ensconced in his 8,100-square-foot vacation home, complete with infinity pool and spectacular ocean views, is the refusal of Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to relinquish power.

Milbank added, "Criticism from Clinton. War with the Islamic State. Trouble with Maliki. It's enough to make a man hook his drive into the sand trap."

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