Back in the early part of this century, before the White House lawn got torn up into an undiginified organic pepper patch and people still wore suit jackets to the office, the president knew how to set an example for the American people.
In 2001 we were in the middle of the dot-com revolution, a magnificent era that would remake the labor market and eliminate forever the necessity of performing anything as base as labor in order to earn a living. All we had to do was funnel dollars into our online brokerage accounts and wait for that money to multiply. And thus, as a role model for the country, President Bush bravely refused to work for the first eight months or so of his presidency.
The standard-bearer of our new work-free future spent most of the spring and summer at his ranch in Crawford. When he did show up at the office, he would work maybe eight or nine hours a day, most of which was spent delegating the actual work to other people.
Now this new president, Barack Obama, looks like he'll never go on vacation. Instead he trots around the country giving speeches and proposing new legislation and appearing on Jay Leno's show, which, granted, is not exactly "work," but neither is it relaxing. Even worse, his newest string of speaking engagements seems tailor-made to perform no public duty other than to irritate John McCain.
Obama's office announced he would be delivering three commencement addresses this spring: at Arizona State, at Notre Dame, and at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. Is President Obama so petty that he feels the need to hog the spotlight in his former presidential rival's home state and beloved alma mater?
The remedy to these many problems is twofold: President Obama must go on vacation and keep his face off the television for a good month or so, just like President Bush did in August 2001. And second, John McCain must secure a commencement speaking slot at the University of Hawaii and Columbia University.