Obama in 2008: Being President Means ‘Vacations, Leisure is Gone’

Curtis Kalin
By Curtis Kalin | August 11, 2014 | 3:07 PM EDT

In a 2008 interview for his second autobiography, Barack Obama contended that being President required someone to abandon the “need for sleep, family life, vacations, leisure.”

Obama defined running for and becoming President of the United States as a “bargain” that one makes with the American people:

“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 my self to you."

Obama further opined that “the American people should have no patience for whatever’s going through your head cause you have a job to do.”

This description of presidential sacrifice is in sharp contrast to President Obama’s actual schedule once he assumed the office. In 2013, Obama played his 150th round of golf since becoming president. Since his reelection, he’s played 81 rounds. A golf outing this year even cost taxpayers upwards of $3 million.

Just last week, Obama interrupted the longest summer vacation he’s taken as president to order American military action in Iraq against ISIS terrorist fighters. He remains in Martha's Vineyard, even now, as bombs continue to fall from American F-18s.

It's doubtful Americans begrudge the president for taking some time off, but the record breaking totality of the vacations and golf outings set against a backdrop of international crises and American military action can come off as detached or worse. Even more disheartening is the White House communications staff being “entirely unconcerned” about the wretched PR.

And even after spending an inordinate amount of time on his golf game, the leader of the free world is still unable to sink a three-foot putt. Let the ironies and analogies commence.