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Permanent Vacation

1:28 PM, Jan 2, 2010 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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An interesting piece from Politico's Ben Smith and Carol Lee examines the mentality inside the Hawaiian White House that led to the administration's inept response to the Christmas Day attack, but there's one line in particular that jumped out at me:

Aides also say Obama wouldn't necessarily be working more on the issue if he were back in Washington.

Obama has probably played some 30+ rounds of golf at this point (he'd played 24 rounds just 9 months into his first term; it took Bush nearly three years to play that many), he exercises religiously; he plays basketball, he has time to pick up awards in Oslo, make Olympic pitches in Copenhagen, and hold beer summits at the White House. It's getting hard to tell whether this administration is in permanent campaign mode or on a permanent vacation. Either way, Obama's aides can do better than telling the press that Obama is working just as hard on the golf courses of Hawaii as he would be in Washington.

Still, there are emergencies that interrupt a vacation, even for Obama:

But the listlessness of an initial response remains a puzzle, coming as it did during the same week Obama rushed off of the golf course in the middle of a game, his presidential motorcade screaming down a Hawaii highway at top speed to deliver one of his golf partners to the house where the friend's son had cut his chin on a surfboard.