3/21/2005

The man has his priorities

From The Carpetbagger blog:
It's been interesting to see just how much time the president spends away from work and on vacation, but Bush's personal priorities are even more revealing when one considers what it takes for him to cut a vacation short. In August 2001, for example, Bush received an intelligence briefing that told him, "Bin Laden Determined To Strike in US." In response, the president took the entire month off, never even meeting with his CIA director. The pending threat of a terrorist attack wasn't enough to curtail a scheduled break. About a year later, over Easter week in 2002, an intense round of violence erupted in Israel. Though the developments were the focus of the world, they occurred during a Bush vacation – which he chose not to cut short. A year after that, Bush launched an unprovoked invasion of Iraq to seize control of weapons of mass destruction that didn't exist. As "shock and awe" was underway, Bush left town for an uninterrupted break at Camp David. In 2004, a tsunami in South Asia devastated a region and killed tens of thousands. World leaders were scrambling to see how they could best help. Bush, meanwhile, was on vacation – and stayed that way. Three days after the crisis began, the White House described the president's schedule as including a bike ride and "clearing brush." So, if terrorist threats, wars, and international crises aren't enough for Bush to cut short a vacation, what is? Funny you should ask. For days, President Bush kept his public distance from the Terri Schiavo case and let his spokesman deliver mild statements suggesting that the president did not want Ms. Schiavo, who has severe brain damage, to die. But on Saturday night, when Mr. Bush made the rare decision to interrupt his Texas vacation and rush back to Washington to be in place to sign a bill that could restore Ms. Schiavo's feeding tube, the White House said that the issue had become one of "defending life," and that time was of the essence...It was the first time this president had interrupted a vacation to return to Washington. Bush could have signed the Schiavo legislation in Texas, but preferred to cut his vacation short and make the dramatic trip back to the White House just for this occasion. To recap, Osama bin Laden, Israel, war, and devastation? Vacation on. The religious right wants action on a woman who has been in vegetative state for 15 years? Vacation off. The man has his priorities.

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