FLASHBACK: Facing 9.5 % Unemployment, Reagan Set Off On 25-Day Summer Vacation

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

The annual summertime ritual of conservatives attacking Obama for going on summer vacation is swinging into high gear, as the president and his family prepare for a trip to Martha's Vineyard.

Partisans are insisting the president doesn't deserve a break and that it sends an awful message to the nation for him to take ten days off.

Context, though, is sometimes helpful in terms of highlighting how silly the cries of protest from the far-right media really are. For instance, at the same juncture of his first term, Ronald Reagan, like Obama, was battling a bad economy. Unemployment stood at 9.5%. Reagan's response his third August in office? He set off for a nearly month-long vacation.

Not only did Reagan go on a secluded, 25-day California retreat, but his top aides reportedly stopped relaying news events to him so as to not disturb the president's sojourn.

From the Washington Post, Aug. 22, 1983 [emphasis added]:

As President Reagan relaxes on his mountaintop ranch northwest of Santa Barbara, tucked away from the workaday cares of Washington, his top advisers have decided to put an end to what one of them calls "unnecessary news stories."

The negative news coverage that the president abhors was a topic of discussion at a White House breakfast the day before Reagan left on his present 25-day trip, the 17th stopover at his ranch since his election.

The Washington Post
Ronald Reagan
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