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COLUMN: Record Breaker! Bush Takes Most Vacation Days For Sitting President

This story was written by Beau Elliot, The Daily Iowan

President Bush recently spent his 879th day at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, since the Supreme Court, in all its great wisdom, elevated him to the presidency. This according to NPR's "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me," which noted that Bush broke former President Reagan's record for taking vacations from the White House.rIt's interesting to recall, all these wild years later, that George W. Bush did not decide to buy the ranch near Crawford until after he decided to run for president. Apparently, after Ronald Reagan's example, it seemed presidential to cut brush on a ranch, and Bush was seeking a brush with history. Or something.

Or maybe Karl Rove decided Bush should buy a ranch. (Easy for him to decide - it wasn't his money.) Somebody should have asked the Architect about this when he was here Sunday. Then the Rove-meister could have told questioner that he had a simple, untended brain. Rove, as it turns out, is an expert on simple, untended brains.

The occasion for NPR to comment on the vacationing habits of Bush (and Reagan) was the curious pas de deux last week between our fearless leader and John McCain, who would very much like to become our next fearless leader. McCain, of course, will be the GOP presidential candidate, barring a collapse worthy of the 2004 New York Yankees, and he was at the White House to be anointed by Bush.

What made the event curious - bizarre, according to some observers, but you know how the infamous "some observers" are - was the tap-dancing between Bush and McCain. First, Bush actually did perform a tap dance for reporters because McCain was late (the well-oiled McCain machine rolls on - no word yet on whether Bush will join the vaudeville circuit after leaving the White House [some would say his time in the West Wing has been the vaudeville circuit]), then McCain seemed to tap-dance, verbally, away from the president. Around a dozen or so times, McCain noted that Bush's "busy schedule" would probably keep him from campaigning for the Arizona senator.

No, really. You know, the "busy schedule" that has room for 879 days down on the ranch - which, if you're into arithmetic, works out to around 30 percent of eight years.

Maybe Bush's legacy will be "the 70 percent solution."

Well, that's probably better than what Hillary Rodham Clinton's legacy will be. She famously used what's being called the "kitchen-sink strategy" against Barack Obama in the run-up to the Ohio and Texas elections last week, and while she won Ohio - and the mainstream media would have you believe that she won Texas, too, but actually, apparently Obama did - the strategy seems to be backfiring in the long-term.

At least in the sense that a whole lot of passionate Obama supporters now seem utterly disinclined to ever vote for Rodham Clinton, especially if she somehow wins the Democratic nomination. Which would make that the most Pyrrhic of victories.

And she didn't help matters by seemingly offering the vice-presidential nomination to Obama, which, you have to admit, is a bit like the 2004 Yankees, after choking in the ALCS, offering to let the Red Sox watch them play the World Series.

Maybe Rodham Clinton could buy a ranch. Start cutting some brush.

After all, she's already running a Republican-like campaign.
© 2008 The Daily Iowan via U-WIRE

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