Flashback: Obama Says Presidents Must Forego Vacations

‘So how I think about it is that you don’t make that decision unless you are prepared to make that sacrifice, that trade off’

Obama in 2006: As president ‘vacations, leisure is gone’ (The Daily Caller)

President Barack Obama has received ample criticism for the first family’s numerous expensive vacations and his frequent golf outings. Based on old C-SPAN footage of Obama, however, it would seem that the president might have once agreed with his critics.

In an October 20, 2006 C-SPAN interview with New York Times columnist Bob Herbert about his memoir “The Audacity of Hope,” then-Senator Obama explained, in a discussion about presidential aspirations, that presidents must forgo vacations and leisure in order to work for the American people.

“Essentially the bargain that any president, I think, strikes with the American people 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.’ And the American people should have no patience for whatever is going through your head because you’ve got a job to do,” Obama says in the video.

“And so how I think about it is that you don’t make that decision unless you are prepared to make that sacrifice, that trade off, that bargain and I think that what’s difficult and important for somebody like myself who has a wonderful forbearing wife and two gorgeous young children is that they end up having to make some of those sacrifices with you,” he continued. “And that is a profound decision that you don’t make lightly.”

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