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Obama takes more vacations than any modern president

Obama The Vacationer

Fox News claims that Obama has taken more vacations than any recent president. After a LOT of effort, we have finally found a way to prove them correct.

We have to admit, it was tough. After all, during Obama’s first term he was on vacation 131 days, while George W. Bush averaged 510 vacation days per term while in office.

Days Vacation per term (ref)
Ronald Reagan 242
George HW Bush 543
Bill Clinton 76
George W Bush 510
Obama (Term 1) 131

But as good conservatives, we have a strong interest in proving that Fox News is always right about everything.  So we started to dig.

ARGUMENT 1: Obama shouldn’t be vacationing when the economy is bad! He should be working!

It is true that the GDP growth under Obama has been much worse than it was under George W. Bush. When GDP growth is low, Presidents deserve less vacation time. That’s just common sense.

So we can create a weighting system that takes this into account.  Let’s look at the number of vacation days each president took per term per the annual percent GDP growth during that term.

Days Vacation
per term
% GDP Growth
Vacation Days
per % GDP Growth
Ronald Reagan 242 3.3 73.33
George HW Bush 543 1.9 285.79
Bill Clinton 76 3.7 20.54
George W Bush 510 1.7 300.00
Obama (Term 1) 131 0.8 163.75

As you can see, this raises Obama’s “effective vacation days” (from 131 to 163), and lowers George W. Bush’s (from 510 to 300)

However, it isn’t enough.  George W. Bush still took more vacation days than Barack Obama.

ARGUMENT 2: Obama shouldn’t be vacationing when the debt is so big! That’s wasteful spending!

The Federal Debt is six trillion dollars more under Obama than it was under George W. Bush. That’s got to be taken into account somehow.When the debt is higher, presidents should take fewer vacation days. That’s just common sense.

So in addition to dividing the vacation days by the percent annual GDP growth, we can also multiply our “effective vacation days” calculation by the federal debt at the end of the president’s term.

Vacation Days
per % GDP Growth
End Of Term Debt
x 10 trill $ (ref)
Days x Debt
per GDP Growth
Ronald Reagan 73.33 $0.27 19.80
George HW Bush 285.79 $0.42 120.03
Bill Clinton 20.54 $0.57 11.71
George W Bush 300.00 $1.07 321.00
Obama (Term 1) 163.75 $1.64 268.55

This helps a little bit, but unfortunately it is not enough.  Using this new adjusted “effective vacation days”, Obama (268 days) is now getting closer to George Bush (321 days), but George Bush still has more vacation days than Obama.

ARGUMENT 3: I’m a constitutional originalist. Which is really code for…

Look, we’re not proud of this.  Really, we’re not.

But we’ve got to find some way of proving that Obama has taken more vacation days than George W. Bush.  Otherwise, we might have to admit that Fox News spews completely false B.S. on prime time television.

We tried all kinds of other factors, even beyond the two mentioned above.  Nothing seemed to work.

Even when we took into account the debt, the economy, unemployment, number of golf games, and even approval ratings, nothing was able to make Barack Obama seem to have taken more vacations than George W. Bush!


But luckily, there is the constitution.

Conservatives love the constitution: the original constitution.  And in the original constitution there is a very specific number associated with people like Barack Obama.  That number is three-fifths.

The number appears in Article I, section 2 of the constitution, and although it was superseded by the fourteen amendment, most conservatives know that that’s totally the least important amendment.

In the interest of delicacy we will simply call this number, three-fifths, the “Constitutional Coefficient”, or C-Factor.

We can include the C-Factor into our calculation of “effective vacation days”.  After all, if George Washington only wanted Barack Obama to be counted as 3/5 of a person in the census, we can only assume he would only want him to take 3/5 of a regular president’s vacation days, as well.

Days x Debt
per GDP Growth
10 x Days x Debt
per GDP Growth
per C-Factor
Ronald Reagan 19.80 1 19.80
George HW Bush 120.03 1 120.03
Bill Clinton 11.71 1 11.71
George W Bush 321.00 1 321.00
Obama (Term 1) 268.55 0.60 447.58

Eureka!  This solves the problem: using this calculation, Barack Obama has taken more vacation days than George W. Bush.


Fox News is correct: Barack Obama has taken more vacation days than any president of anything ever in the entire history of time. The above graph and table prove this point.

When liberals say that George Bush has taken more vacation days, that is because they are not using the special, adjusted “effective vacation days” measurement, which has been corrected to take into account important factors like GDP growth, Federal Debt, and–of course–the Constitution.

And if they aren’t willing to include important things like the economy and the constitution, well… that can only mean one thing: they are guilty of liberal bias!!!



73 Comments  comments 

73 Responses

  1. Larry Stoops

    I’m not opposed to President Obama taking a vacation. As for all Presidents take vacations. But, $100,000 million dollars when we are now in sequester? It does not make sense.’When Most Americans struggle to pay their taxes, the president takes a vacation that is the most expensive vacation thats ever been taken;I am angry when he does this stop, but at congress who stands by like a group of insipid boy scouts. I think Americans should call for a halt to this expenditure.

    • Andrew Livingston

      I think maybe America should start dealing with the purveyors of misinformation who bandy about such frankly bizarre figures as this. This is not “freedom of speech”, this is “gain through fraud”.

      This is not costing anywhere near what they say it is costing. It is hardly a “vacation”. Notice he’s actually working whilst there. So, yeah, it does not make sense because it is not true.

      They made the same claim last time about Obama’s vacation, they were wrong then. Quite why people believe the claims now I’d like to say I don’t know. But I do know: ‘Murrica… That’s why.

      • arethusa

        This article is a mishmash of misleading information. Let’s just look at the days rather than trying to change the record with magical thinking. Obama has worked very hard despite the hateful efforts of the GOP to undermine him and our country. The GOP has made clear that their goal was to turn him out of office. They failed. They continue to make other bizarre claims, like the one in this article. For example, they don’t know enough economics to understand where the deficit came from or the degree to which is has shrunk.

    • Sheila Davis

      Did you know Obama paid for the place he stayed at out mof pocket. He isnt as rich as the mothers and ddoesn’t own vacation homes.

    • Sheila Davis

      First off is any of them should have their butts in office it should be during then two wars they started mover what? There were no WMD and now he knows it. His experts told him so but he ignored it and went into a no won war.

    • Sheila Davis

      Plus if we point fingers on why the country is in this shape we would have to start with Bush. He didn’t pay one penny on the wars. Charged them, Obama entered them iIto thedebt. So yes the ceiling went up.

      • Check out how many times Pres. Bush had foreign dignitaries at Crawford. It was the Texas White House. In four years he did business with 17 foreign heads of state from Putin to Mexican President Fox, Saudi crown prince, president of China, crown Prince, Prince, President of Spain, Juan Carlos and his wife Sophia just to name a few. Also, we weren’t facing so many crises then. Now, Isis, Russia, Ben Ghanzi, IRS, economy that’s crawling, you name it.

        We have a president who does NOTHING but play golf, fund raises, vacations, gives a few paltry empty talks in front of a Telepromter then goes on vacation again.

        Get real.

        • “We have a president who does NOTHING but play golf, fund raises, vacations, gives a few paltry empty talks in front of a Telepromter then goes on vacation again.”

          I know this is something you’ve heard on talk radio and stuff. But if you actually pay attention to real political news, you’d realize Obama has been frequently meeting with foreign leaders. Just because Fox News decides not to talk about it much doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, I’m afraid to say.

          • Kent Perry

            Oh BALONEY “We have a president who does NOTHING but play golf, fund raises, vacations, gives a few paltry empty talks in front of a Teleprompter then goes on vacation again.”

            That is IN FACT EXACTLY what we have seen him do.

  2. Brandon

    Really Larry? $100,000 million? Isn’t that, like, eleventy-billion or something?

  3. Andrew

    No facts posted here. Way too many vacation days by a long shot! Don’t be mad that bush took more than a 3 term president JFK!!

  4. Col Bob

    Of course, George W Bush usually vacationed at his ranch in TX where Obama vacations mostly in Hawaii …. big difference

    • Alex

      I agree with Andrew Livingston The purveyor of misinformation are the real problem. According to the stat. Bill Clinton was the best president ever. Highest GDP growth and lowest growth in Debt. And yes bush the worst ever. Look at the % gain in in GDP and % gain in National Debt. I don’t care about parties I’ll give Ronald Reagan his kudos for coming in second. However, take a good look at what the Bush’s did, and be real. Get off the Democrat/Republican thing or the race thing and look at what is best for the country..

    • Jo

      Bush “usually vacationed at this ranch in TX”?! Usually?! Make that FREQUENTLY, as in SEVENTY-SEVEN (77) Crawford trips at a cost of $226,072.00 per trip. That’s $17.4 million in travel alone and, as far as I can tell, that’s not even in today’s dollars. Plus, there was the cost of turning the Crawford ranch into the Western White House. How many trips has Obama made to Hawaii (his home, BTW)? Two per year tops? And he pays personally for the family’s accommodations. Yeah, big difference. http://www.politicususa.com/2011/12/23/cost-obama-christmas-vacation-bush.html

      • Adam Bruno

        George W. Bush spent 879 days at his Crawford Ranch. This doesn’t mean this was a vacation for him, he constantly flew in staff members, held press conferences, and met with 18 world leaders at the ranch. So what does Obama do on his vacations or his wife? Goes to Hawaii, Martha’s Vineyard, and Spain to Golf, Basketball, shopping, etc. Where as Bush’s wife and sometimes with him went on goodwill missions in places like Africa. So one president works in his house generally where as the other travels all over to relax and unwind when the country is such horrible shape though one can argue that his doing anything to fix the country has the opposite effect so he should just stay on vacation till his replacement comes in.

        • John

          Thanks for pointing out how much extra the dog-and-pony show cost. Secret Service staying on the ranch. Secret Service setting up a trailer park outside the ranch entrance. Secret Service and tons of staff staying at all the motels in the area. All this extra expense — lodging, flying people in and out, travel from the nearest airport, etc. — just so Bush could ride his mountain bike and act all Reagany by chopping wood. 77 trips on Air Force One. How many tens of millions could Bush have saved by simply doing White House business at the White House?
          Plus the 147 trips to Camp David and the 11 trips to Kennebunkport … and Laura and the girls going on their Africa safari (the one the Obamas didn’t go on) and the George and Laura trip to Africa.
          It’s okay for Republicans to do it, but not Democrats.

        • Richard

          MRS Bush and the 2 girls went 5 times on safari to Africa……NO PRES. THERE

      • Sheila Davis

        Yes JO you are right on!

    • Sheila Davis

      Bush is from TX Obama is from HI and pays ,out of pocket for his place. He doesnt own a vacation home as the Bushs do.

    • John

      But Obama only takes his family to Hawaii once a year whereas Bush flew to Crawford 77 times in 8 years. That’s almost 10 trips a year.

      Bigger difference. Much bigger.

    • Shane

      So Bush vacationed at his home in the state in which he was born, while Obama vacationed at his home in the state in which he was born, and you’re…complaining?


    • Cal

      That, dumbass, is because Obama is from Hawaii. It’s his home state.

    • Dammit Janet

      What’s the problem with Obama vacationing in his home town?

  5. Larry

    What everyone seems to be missing is Yes, GWB did take more vacation days but he took them at his ranch. In other words GWB paid for the majority of his vacation costs out of his own pocket. But Obama, he’s jet-setting all over the globe, and so is his family. In March 2012 his daughter Malia took a spring break in Mexico with 12 of her friends and 25 Secret Sevice Agents while leaving the parents behind. What’s up with that one. Since when ae “We The People” susppose to pay for a 13 year old girls “play time”. Actually, I don’t give two hoots if he spends every single day he has left in office on vacation, AS LONG AS HE PAYS FOR IT!

    He’s does far less damage when he stays away from Washington. He really dose not know what he’s doing anyway!

      • Ted Baily

        Such foolish remarks of people not having much of a clue. Amazing how some KNOW how many secret service members are present … some number out of the air. There is no way anyone KNOWS how many secret service members are ever used when it comes to the first family, any first family. People think presidents live free at the W.H. Another example of ignorance. When you consider security at a hotel verses on an open ranch, reasonable people can figure out that it will take MORE service members on a ranch … let me use “air” numbers just like you all … 90 percent of you haters ate because of race … grow up and start acting like true Americans … you filthy foolish people.

    • Bill

      You are so full of fecal matter it’s unbelievable……Jet setting all over the world? Bush paid for his vacations out of his own pocket? What a moron you are. Clearly you’re not a Mensa Society member…..Here’s your sign!!!!

      • Smh

        Obama paid for his vacation home. The taxpayers paid everything else including Air Force one which costs hundreds of thousands per hour and the cost of taking all the secret service agents. These costs are estimated at millions.

      • Rancid Cheese

        This kind of reply is commonly referred to as “ad-hominem”, which is one of several types of “Logical Fallacy”.
        Logical Fallacies are the Last Resort of the Intellectually Bankrupt.

        What people are arguing is stupid. The number of days on “vacation”? First, define “vacation”… is this different than “working vacation”, or “time away from the office”?
        Do we use the IRS rules on “vacation” that if I do any “business” while on vacation then it is “business” and a tax write-off?
        Or do we list our children as “senior staff” and let the tax payers fund their trip?

        Get real. The problems are this:
        1) Obama goes on and on about income inequality, then spends MILLIONS on vacations and parties… you know… those things the rest of us can’t afford… because we don’t have the money…
        2) The COST is what most object to, not the actual number of days… how much for the trip to Hawaii? How much for the trip to Spain? How much for the trip to Africa?

        If it is personal business or personal vacation… it should be paid for by Obama… if it is in the execution of their duty as president, then the tax payers should pay for it…
        Or is that asking too much?

        • Ted Baily

          go by your own comments … you’re closing is an argument for understanding that being smart (in your case knowing lots of big words and terms) is not a sign necessarily of intelligence. … all of the comparing of one vacation over the next is simply stupid.

    • Dammit Janet

      Jealous much?

  6. Brannon

    It’s a hypocrisy thing. Obama says he is for middle to lower income Americans, and he crys foul to income inequality and economic justice. All while enjoying elaborate vacations in the Hamptons and Martha’s Vinyard.

    • It’s hypocritical for someone who has money to care about people without money?

      Why? Because you’re only allowed to care about poor people if you’re poor yourself?

      • Kent Perry

        Quote:”It’s hypocritical for someone who has money to care about people without money?”

        As if he cares at all. C’mon get off the BS train, Obama expects us to tighten our belts and pay for all these entitlements to those not entitled to s dime while he spends OUR money gallivanting around when he should be doing things like showing some respect for Generals that died in action by showing up for the funeral rather than thinking of only himself and his Golf indulgence.

        Quote:’Why? Because you’re only allowed to care about poor people if you’re poor yourself?”

        We have more poor people and more on food stamps because of Obama’s policies which seem to care more for creating poverty so he can LOOK like he cares by giving them ebt cards.

        Now, how we all plan to pay for all this is something he doesn’t give an iota about.

  7. anon

    Liberals are slaves to their Democrat masters promising them the world day in and day out. Republicans are slaves to a system of rigidity that promotes independence and freedom while preaching how they should live. The people are slaves to sites like these and other media that create a wedge in our society using polemics (that’s Po Lem icks you you uneducated folk). Who cares what POTUS took what vacation? What does pointing it out or defending the person in your corner have to do with anything? Nothing. It’s a stupid device used to keep the people divided. And as you know, DIVIDED WE FALL. Don’t be a shill for parties. Our government is corrupt through and through. Supporting either party is failing America, election by election.

  8. Grapost

    Bush spent 1020 days on vacation during his 8 years in office. Almost 3 Full Years! More than any President since the 1920’s

    In 2005, Bush took the longest single vacation — 5 weeks — of any President in 36 years. President Bush spent 32% of his presidency on vacation.

    Of the 77 total “vacation” trips the former president made to his Texas ranch while in office, nine of them — all or part of 69 days — came during his first year as president in 2001. Bush made 25 trips — a total of 78 days — to Camp David in 2001.
    Holy 9/11!

    Bush spent 487 days at Camp David, 490 days at his Crawford ranch, and 43 days in Kennebunkport.

    At 1,020 days, Bush was close to being on vacation more days than President John F. Kennedy’s total days in office (1,036).

    Presidents Clinton and Carter vacationed the least of any of the last seven chief executives.



  9. Stewart

    I think the biggest thing is…President’s don’t go on vacation. They don’t turn off the blackberry or put an out of office on. These are working vacations in which they are still in the loop. So in defense of both sides, lets be honest that the true vacation days is probably about 0.

    • Tom

      You do know that Obama was the first president even allowed to have a Blackberry or any other similar device, don’t you?

      • Sheila Davis

        The others could but didnt. They mdon’t like it he just keeps it no matter.

        • Ted Baily

          Keep up with the news … “they don’t like it” … well, good that he keeps up with the times … AND, if you have paid attention … he has his blackberry … but it is controlled – it is locked – and duh, checked and checked daily and controlled and monitored … ahahahahaha NSA is watching his blackberry … he does not have open range with it, gezzzz, how ignorant can people be. Turn FOX off and read the news.

  10. Tom

    Well, I’ve finally found a website with ZERO real facts and the people that comment are more ignorant than the original authors.

    The world just gets dumber and dumber.

    • Eric

      What facts are wrong Tom? Name 3 facts that are wrong and cite the source that gives a correct fact. Nice job name calling. Those with true facts state them and don’t call other people names.

  11. [...] don’t bring up presidential vacation days before 2009 because, like all members of the Tea Party, I can’t remember anything from that period except [...]

  12. Kevin

    The comedy lover in me finds it hilarious that so many people read this article as a work of fact. I was sent a link to this article by someone who said it proved that Obama spent more time vacationing than any other President.

    The education lover in me, however, was fairly saddened by the lack of critical thinking skills exibited by the readers.

    So yeah I guess if we’re riding this ship down, at least we’ll be laughing histerically all the way to the bottom.

  13. Jimmy

    The 3/5 rule referred to enumerated slaves. Never to free men. Thus, BHO is not guilty of being vacation champ. Must still be Dubya.

    How about rounds of golf – any data on that? Gerry liked to hack around a bit (woe be to the gallery), Ike was a duffer, most of the others weren’t strangers to the links. Where does Barry stand?

  14. […] Obama takes more vacations than any modern president […]

  15. Sheila Davis

    Well even old man Bush took up for Obama on down time. I was happy to see them agree on that.:-)

  16. xavier

    The sad fact is that facts don’t matter anymore to extremists, just news bites that people eat up and run (sorry sit around) with as the truth of the morsel. Politics and media reports are a shell game, a pyramid scheme, a smoke and mirror pony show, it happens left and right, and those stuck in the middle see little accomplished but rinse and repeat next cycle. What takes the most vacation time when politics is involved, cooperation, sanity, the people’s interest, the people’s tax money, and a hope for a better tomorrow.

  17. Jack

    I just wish ONLY THE UNBIASED TRUTH were printed.All I want is truth,not who was worse or not.As Hillary would say what difference does it make if it is all made from biased people.ONLY THE TRUTH WILL SET US FREE

  18. Foxxstory

    I just bumped into this page and can’t stop laughing.Obama has taken more vacations that any other president… LMAO

    George Bush took 1,020 vacation days.. that is 33% of his Presidency.




  19. […] than any modern president Published on March 30, 2013 by LiberalBias.com in Featured, Reports Obama takes more vacations than any modern president | Liberal Bias […]

  20. […] GOP stands today Obama would have to be a white teabagger evangelical to make a good impression. Obama takes more vacations than any modern president | Liberal Bias __________________ extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence/ Carl Sagan. "that […]

  21. maryellen kersch

    Be nice if you would start from a point of truth instead of relying of FOX for your history. Really, can’t discuss anything with false premise.

  22. Bob Wall

    Fact is that George Bush Jr. took nearly 900 days vacation while in office, exceeding all current presidents. The longest vacation was 8 months and was taken by our second president John Adams

  23. […] We have to admit, it was tough. After all, during Obama’s first term he was on vacation 131 days, while George W. Bush averaged 510 vacation days per term while in office. [Read more] […]

  24. marko

    I thought surly this was The Onion type spoof journalism, because this bunk was clearly pulled out of some dudes a$$. I quess the neocons WILL drink anything…

  25. bubu

    no point letting FACTS get in the way of your cheap shots:
    President Obama has spent all or part of 26 days “on vacation” during his first year as president; 61 vacation days after 31 months in office.
    President Reagan, in 1981, spent all or part of 42 days; by 31 months had taken 112 days off; President Reagan spent one whole year out of a 6 1/2 year term on vacation.
    President George W. Bush spent 69 days, not including the 30 days “working vacation” (Aug-Sept 2001) in Tx within the first six months in office; 31 months into office pres pres bush2 had taken 180 days off. pres bush2 had 487 Days of Vacation more than a Whole Year off of Work.
    President George H.W. Bush, spent 40 days.
    pres Carter spent 19 days “on vacation” in 1977.
    pres clinton spent 21 days; by 31 months 28 days off.

    President Obama has also made 11 trips — all or part of 27 days — to Camp David,
    President George W. Bush made 25 trips — a total of 78 days — to Camp David in 2001
    President George W. Bush. During his two terms, Bush took 879 vacation days, which included 77 total trips to his Crawford, Tx. ranch and five weeks off in 2005.
    pres John Adams who took eight months off in 1799.

    To be fair, a presidential vacation away from the White House is not the same as a vacation for the average person. The president is still in contact with his advisers and on call for any emergency.

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