18 hours is how long it will take President Obama to fly to Copenhagen, convince the International Olympic Committee to allow the United States to host the 2016 Olympics and fly back to Washington.
The New York Times breaks it down:
Obama would need to carve out about 18 hours for the trip. Nonstop flights between Washington and Copenhagen take about eight hours each way. Travel time between the Copenhagen airport and downtown is about 20 minutes. Obama would need about an hour to schmooze with I.O.C. members — or speak during Chicago’s presentation. (Each bid city has 70 minutes to make its case.)
Despite the incredibly short duration of this trip, conservatives are (as always) up! in! arms! that President Obama is doing this.
Of course, that doesn’t mean much–the right hates nearly everything President Obama does, so no matter how he spent those 18 hours they’d still find something to complain about.
And I know we’re all supposed to forget that George W. Bush was ever President, but remember that Bush–the longtime icon of the right–was the most vacation-happy President in American history. Here’s a rundown of how the GOP’s slacker-in-chief ditched his duties:
- Number Of Visits To Camp David: 149, totaling all or part of 487 days.
- Number Of Visits To His Texas Ranch: 77, totaling all or part of 490 days.
- Number Of Visits To His Parents’ Home In Kennebunkport, Maine: 11, totaling all or part of 43 days.
That’s 1,020 days that our last Republican President spent on vacation, yet the right is apoplectic over our current President taking 18 hours for the sake of an Olympic bid.
And, unlike any of Bush’s vacations, if Obama succeeds he’ll both create a ton of jobs and net the American economy a ton of money.
But we all know what this is about–Republicans hate Obama, they can’t stand that he’s the President of the United States and they’re going to grasp at whatever straws they can in order to attack him.
In fact I bet that–had Obama skipped the trip and the United States lost the Olympic bid–these same Republicans would be attacking Obama for not going, lamenting all the jobs and money America would be losing out on because Obama couldn’t be bothered to take an 18-hour trip to Copenhagen.
That’s conservatism for you–hypocritical, hysterical, and completely and utterly unserious.
UPDATE: The right’s rhetoric is boiling down to “Obama shouldn’t take 18 hours to support America’s Olympic bid because he should be focusing on the war in Afghanistan.”
While nobody can deny that the war in Afghanistan is a priority, well, remember during the 2008 campaign, when the financial crisis happened and John McCain “suspended” his campaign to fly to Washington and work on it?
(Well, he actually flew to NY for a fundraiser and then flew to Washington–where he ended up doing absolutely nothing constructive–but that’s neither here nor there.)
Well, Obama’s response to McCain’s stunt still stands:
“And, you know, presidents are going to have to deal with more than one thing at a time. It’s not necessary for us to think that we can only do one thing and suspend everything else.”
And–I know, conservatives are going to hate me for pulling George Bush back up out of the memory hole here–remember, Bush spent 2.75 years of his 8 year administration on vacation, and he was the one responsible for starting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
There were no howls of outrage from conservatives when Bush jetted off to his ranch to clear brush and cool his heels for weeks on end while two wars raged, but Barack Obama can’t take 18 hours to support something that will both make America look good and make America a ton of money.
Isn’t it funny how the right’s double standards work?