Bush's Vacation Alarms Supporters

President Bush leads a group on mountain bikes along a path near Lake Cascade State Park in Donnelly, Idaho, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2005. President Bush arrived Monday by helicopter in Donnelly, where he's due to spend two nights at the ski and golf resort that opened in December 2004. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) AP

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
A friend of mine who likes President Bush a lot can't quite understand why he's taking so much vacation this summer.

When she heard the president was headed to a new resort in Idaho today all she could do was roll her eyes and wonder, "doesn't he know what's going on in the world?"

I tell you this to illustrate that President Bush seems to be trying the patience of even his most ardent admirers. With the Sunnis threatening civil war if the Shiites and Kurds get their way in Iraq and claim their own autonomous regions, we may have to start thinking that things could actually get worse over there.

During World War II, FDR made frequent retreats to his home on the Hudson. Late in the afternoon he'd tend to his stamp collection, after that it was the children's hour, then time for a cocktail.

Mr. Bush prefers his mountain bike to a martini and FDR didn't have protesters camped out in his driveway. The country is looking for some reassurance. Maybe it's time for a fireside chat.


Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.

By Harry Smith
  • Sean Alfano

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