President Joe Biden recently took to the shores of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, but insists he’s “not on vacation.” While his home in Wilmington undergoes security upgrades, Biden assured the press that his stay at his beach house was a necessity, not a leisure trip.
“It’s not a vacation. I’m here for the day because I can’t go home-home,” Biden stated.
But many Americans are questioning the President’s priorities. According to a New York Post report confirmed by data from the Republican National Committee, Biden has spent 40% of his presidency — 382 of 957 days — on personal overnight trips. The stats put him on track to become the “most idle commander-in-chief.”
Ppl in HI have lost everything, and FL has sustained damage, and poor Joe is crying b/c he can't go to his mansion b/c they're doing tax-payer funded security upgrades.https://t.co/JOHwkPFoao
— 🇺🇸 𝔹𝕣𝕠𝕠𝕜𝕝𝕪𝕟 𝔾𝕚𝕣𝕝 💙🇺🇸❤️🤍💙 (@Brooklyn__Girl) September 4, 2023
The President’s frequent trips come when the country faces many challenges, from natural disasters like Hurricane Idalia in Florida to ongoing international crises. Last year, when Kabul fell to the Taliban, Biden was away at Camp David. When Russia invaded Ukraine, he was at his Wilmington home. He was even absent during a toxic train derailment in Ohio — a site he has yet to visit. And let’s not forget his weeklong stay at Lake Tahoe, Nevada, with only a one-day trip to view the devastation from wildfires in Hawaii.
The President’s insistence on going on “not vacations” might not sit well with those grappling with real issues. While Biden assures us he’s not “homeless,” some Americans dealing with inflation, job loss, and the aftermath of natural disasters might feel like they are.
Moreover, the optics of a commander-in-chief appearing to prioritize leisure time can leave a sour taste. It prompts the question: Is Biden genuinely in control?
“It’s not ‘President Biden’, it’s Puppet Biden,” said GOP candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, suggesting that Biden’s “vacation-day record” serves other agendas.
Biden’s absence during crucial moments indeed raises eyebrows. Even Democratic political consultant Hank Sheinkopf voiced concerns, saying, “The fact that these vacations are falling during national emergencies only adds to the feeling by some that he should not be running for re-election.”
White House spokesman Andrew Bates has defended the President’s extensive time away from the White House, asserting that “the presidency is a nonstop job that chief executives can do from anywhere in the world.”
Yet, for many Americans, the issue isn’t whether Biden can technically do the job from Delaware but whether he is fully engaged in the nation’s challenges. Given the stats and optics, the President may need to reconsider his definition of “not a vacation,” lest he disconnects further from the concerns and crises gripping ordinary Americans.