Americans repel when asked about the long summer vacations planned by President Obama and Congress. Their reaction: You don’t deserve it.
As Obama jets off to a sprawling oceanside resort home on Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., this weekend, a week after Congress also went on recess, a new poll finds that Americans believe only they worked hard enough this year to get a break — but aren’t taking one.
A new Economist/YouGov.com poll found that just 9 percent of Americans believe Congress worked hard enough for a vacation. And only 40 percent said Obama deserves his 16-days on the Atlantic Ocean island.
“Vacations for public leaders are often a sensitive subject, and may be becoming even more so. Last year, Americans said on average a president deserves three weeks of vacation a year — that’s more than the average Americans worker. This year, Americans are loath to agree that Barack Obama has worked hard enough to deserve even one week of August vacation,” said the poll analysis.
The poll put on display the division in the nation over Obama’s performance as president, a time when international affairs are unraveling and the stalled economy still isn’t providing a lift to the long-time unemployed and younger Americans.
Over all, the nation is split on this question: “Do you feel President Obama has been working hard enough to deserve taking a summer vacation for a week in August, or not?” Forty percent said yes, 47 percent no.
The gap widens among partisans, the sexes, age groups and income groups.
— 67 percent said Obama deserves a break. Just 12 percent of Republicans agree.
— 48 percent of Americans 18 to 27 years old say he shouldn’t go on vacation.
— Only 33 percent of men said he deserves his vacation, while 46 percent of women said he should take a break.
— Rich Americans said the vacation is deserved, while those making less than $100,000 don’t.
— 62 percent of blacks said go to the Vineyard, 52 percent of whites said don’t do it.
“Perhaps elected officials need to remember that many Americans don’t take summer vacations at all. In this poll, just 38 percent say they are taking a summer vacation,” said the poll analysis.Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.